Public Works: New Parking Deck at Locust Avenue Lot Could Be in Place by Thanksgiving 2016

Town officials said Wednesday that they could start construction on a widely anticipated parking deck at the Locust Avenue Lot next summer with a plan to have it finished and open by Thanksgiving 2016. The new parking deck would add about 86 spaces to the now 150-space lot, and would be well-lit, with a pocket park up alongside it, good traffic flow and an aesthetically pleasing appearance, members of the New Canaan Department of Public Works told the Town Council at that group’s regular meeting. Conceptual plans have been drawn up for a structure that would cost about $3.75 million to build, a traffic study is in hand and the property presents no environmental issues, DPW Director Michael Pastore said at the meeting, held in the Sturgess Room at the New Canaan Nature Center. The structure would have two independent levels, with an at-grade level accessible by Locust Avenue and a deck that is fed by a leg coming off of Heritage Hill Road, Pastore said. “The big thing with structure is that it would be open, and the whole design is to keep with the P&Z Village District Guidelines for the aesthetics and appearance of this,” he said.

Did You Hear … ?

Many New Canaanites by now have seen a rendering of the Midcentury Modern-inspired commercial building that John and Melissa Engel have planned for the lot at 215 Elm St. The architect on the project is Westport-based Frederick William Hoag. Some time after John Engel explained what he had in mind to a University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation professor, a document that included some truly fascinating concepts came in from students (see above). The Maryland architecture program been called the only one in the nation that includes professional Masters programs and related PhD-level studies in planning, preservation and real estate development within the same school. ***

Bill Egan, the newly hired principal of New Canaan High School, has gotten into the spirit of the job very quickly: At his formal introduction at the Board of Education meeting on Monday night, board member Sheri West astutely noted, Egan was sporting a NCHS Rams tie.

Town Hall Renovation: ‘Anything That Would Have Been Discovered, Has Been Discovered’

The renovation of Town Hall remains on time and budget, with the Main Street structure’s floors poured, walls up and interior finishes underway, New Canaan’s highest elected official said. Officials expect municipal services to move into the renovated space next May, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said Tuesday at a special meeting of New Canaan’s Board of Finance. “Anything that would have been discovered, has been discovered, so that is really good,” Mallozzi said at the meeting, held in the Douglas Room at Lapham Community Center. The comments came as the finance board approved 9-0 about $275,000 from a contingency fund for construction spending. About $150,000 to $200,000 remains in that fund, Mallozzi said.

Footprint, Steel Frame of Renovated Town Hall in Place

The footprint of the “new” Town Hall is complete and the officials expect with two weeks to start the wall framing at the addition out back of the Main Street building. Workers poured the first floor concrete decking and the roof is underway, said Joseph Zagarenski of Bridgeport-based firm The McLoud Group, which is overseeing the project as construction manager. “The steel [frame of the addition] is almost complete,” Zagarenski  said. Here are some renderings of the renovated Town Hall from White Plains, NY-based KSQ Architects. They have been included in multiple presentations to town officials over the past two years.

Renovated Town Hall Taking Shape with Steel Skeleton

New Canaan’s renovated Town Hall is starting to take physical shape this week, with the appearance of a steel skeleton behind the original building that will be fully installed by June 20, officials say. Pictured at right, the steel structure will hold the renovated Town Hall’s vault, clerk’s office and other miscellaneous offices, said Joseph Zagarenski of Bridgeport-based firm The McLoud Group, which is overseeing the project as construction manager. “The nuts and bolts of it are that that’s the first bay of three, so you’ll see the next two bays and a complete structure up here at the end of the month,” Zagarenski  said. The approximately $18 million renovation of Town Hall is on schedule and budget, officials have said. (Here are some renderings of the renovated New Canaan Town Hall from White Plains, NY-based KSQ Architects, article continues below.)

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Selectman Beth Jones after board meetings regularly tours the site and receives project updates from Zagarenski and New Canaan Department of Public Works Director Mike Pastore.