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P&Z Slates Hearing On Proposed Community Center/Senior Center



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The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, July 6, on the town's proposal to construct a community center/senior center complex at 8 Simpson Street at Fairfield Hills. The hearing is slated for 7:30 pm at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street.many meetings in recent weeks in refining their design ideas on the project.

The site proposed for new construction lies directly across Simpson Street from the southern entrance to Newtown Municipal Center. The property formerly held Canaan House, which was a patient housing/treatment building at the former state psychiatric hospital. Crews have been working recently to remove the subterranean remnants of Canaan House's foundation to make the site suitable for new construction.

The July 6 hearing will be held as part of the P&Z's site development plan review of the project.

The project already has received a wetlands/watercourses protection permit from the town's Land Use Agency. That permit was issued by staff members and was not a topic at an Inland Wetlands Commission meeting.

Besides the proposed new building, P&Z members will be reviewing development aspects of the project, such as parking facilities and nighttime lighting. Quisenberry Arcari Architects, LLC of Farmington are listed as the project's designers. TO Design of New Britain also is working on the project.

Town officials have held

On Wednesday, June 28, the P&Z application file for the project held relatively little content. Land use officials said they expect more information to be submitted for inclusion in the application file before the July 6 hearing. The file is available for public review at the land use agency at the municipal center from 8 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays.

According to general plans presented by the town at a June 24 informational session on the project, the new building would contain more than 45,000 square feet of enclosed space, including the community center, the senior center, two swimming pools and related facilities, plus shared space for mechanical equipment.

Groundbreaking is expected in mid-September, with construction to last between 18 and 24 months.

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