Letter to the Editor: Moynihan for First Selectman, Time for a Change

I am pleased to support Kevin Moynihan’s candidacy for first selectman and would urge my fellow New Canaanites to do so as well. I have known Kevin for many years as a friend and supporter of community activities. I have always found him to be well reasoned, thoughtful and balanced in his perspectives. I have also found him to be steadfast in his positions and not influenced by popular position or what may have been expedient—a truly refreshing quality in today’s political climate. True to this practice, he keeps his word.

‘It’s Pretty Damning’: Outback Teen Center Was Incorrectly Constructed, Report Says; Fire Officials Close ‘Unsound’ Building To the Public

The Outback Teen Center structure was poorly and incorrectly constructed, according to an engineering study completed this week, and has been declared unsound by safety officials who on Thursday closed the vacant building to the public. A review of original building drawings shows that what had been designed “is not what was built,” according to a July 19 report from Danbury-based Di Salvo Engineering Group. “The main level framing is not as indicated on the structural drawings,” DiSalvo said in a summary letter obtained by NewCanaanite.com. “Interior posts were installed farther apart than shown on the plans creating spans of equal length between posts of approximately 10 feet. Girders were considerably smaller than indicated on the plan.

‘Not the Most Adaptable’: Question of Future Use Surrounds Former Outback Teen Center Building, Now Town-Owned

First Selectman Rob Mallozzi stood behind the long kitchen counter at one end of the cavernous upper floor of the former New Canaan Outback Teen Center on Friday afternoon, hours after the 15-year-old structure had reverted to the town’s ownership following failed operation by a nonprofit organization. One stool at the counter appeared to have been broken and a pizza oven removed from the food prep area at Outback, once envisioned as an alcohol- and substance-free hub of local teen activity. “On my walk through today, it hits me again that this is a very unique space—one that is probably not the most adaptable to different and various uses, and it gives me even more pause about next steps,” Mallozzi said. Just what to do about the now-town-owned, rather oddly configured and centrally located structure, built 15 years ago—several years prior to the economic downturn, a headier era of corporate giving and donor dollars—is a major question facing New Canaan. In the short term, a dumpster is in order, according to the first selectman: A broken bench, collapsed ping-pong table, worn sofas and disused files lay about the split-level floors, while other fixtures—such as for lighting, movies and sound—appear to be in good shape.

First Selectman Calls for Building Assessment of ‘The Hub’; Failed Organization Went Years without IRS Filings

New Canaan’s highest elected official is seeking a full assessment of the former Outback Teen Center building downtown—a necessary first step, he said, in order to figure out just what to do with the cavernous structure after the town inherits it this summer. The condition of its HVAC system, status of elevator inspection reports and any needs that would trigger expensive work to ADA compliance remain open questions, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said. “The town of New Canaan has had so little to do with that building, that before we have concrete next steps, we need a general assessment,” he told NewCanaanite.com. Mallozzi said he has tapped the Department of Public Works’ building superintendent to look at the structure and expects an analysis in two to three weeks. “That will begin a conversation of, ‘OK, we have a building here and we need $50,000 or $300,000 worth of work’ and ‘What is the outcome if we invest that time and energy?’ ” Mallozzi said.

‘The Hub’ In Talks With Greenwich Hospital About Using Former Teen Center Building Downtown; Business Plan Remains Unclear

Greenwich Hospital officials say they’re interested in providing health education programs at The Hub, the former Outback Teen Center building in downtown New Canaan. Part of the Yale New Haven Health System, the hospital was approached by The Hub, the local group led by New Canaan’s Bob Albus that’s seeking new and financially viable uses for the building that also will serve the community, officials say. “We are not looking to invest financially but we are exploring opportunities with Bob to potentially—if funding comes through on his side—to do some health education programs for the community,” Dana Marnane, vice president of public relations at Greenwich Hospital, told NewCanaanite.com when asked about the discussions. Those programs could cover topics such as cardiac care, maternity and those focused on youth or their parents, such as addiction and cooking classes that address healthy eating, she said. It isn’t clear how often the hospital’s programs would run or how the leadership of the Hub’s board of directors views the prospect in terms of the structure’s financial viability.