Newtown Letter to the Editor

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The Newtown Community Center Commission offers some clarification about the proposed community center.
The Newtown Community Center Commission offers some clarification about the proposed community center. Photo Credit: Newtown website

To the editor:

Fellow Newtown Residents, to dispel misconceptions about the Newtown Community Center Commission's planned proposal to elected officials please take a moment to read the following.

The motion voted into place on Feb. 13 is, first and foremost, to create a vibrant multi-purpose community center building with no less than 13,000 and up to 18,000 square feet available to residents of all ages.

The second level of priority is for an aquatic feature that ideally includes a 50-meter pool with eight swimming lanes, a movable bulkhead as well as a zero-entry pool, subject to feasibility. The 50-meter pools offers more usage options than a shorter, 25-yard pool such as dual usage options (laps and open swim for example) as well as swim lessons, water safety and scuba courses, mommy-and-me classes, water aerobics and synchronized swimming, to name a few.

The study of a potential ice arena for a later stage of development of the Fairfield Hills community center campus is the third priority. These elements are the direct result of extensive resident feedback, including public forums to discuss a draft proposal, and take into account views that 13,000 square feet seemed too small to meet the community’s needs; a preference to stay within an already-committed budget of $15 million; and a high level of interest in building an ice arena in town, based on the survey responses.

For the avoidance of doubt, a robust central community center building is the NCCC's top priority. Because the pool area may require a slightly higher percentage of the total budget to construct, the square footage of the main building will only be finalized once more detailed estimates are submitted. Final plans can only be developed once the Public Building & Site Commission takes over the project after the General Electric gift has been approved by residents at referendum.

Regards, Newtown Community Center Commission

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