News You Need To Know

New Y Awaits Final Town Approvals

The Family Y's new, 54,000 sq. ft. facility at our Mahackeno campus is now virtually complete. The pools have been certified for public use, and technicians are completing the hook-up of the new phone system and wiring of the HD monitors and high-tech fitness equipment in the Wellness Center.

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, the Town of Westport's Selectman, acting in their capacity as the Water Pollution Control Authority, will meet to consider approval of the Operating Agreement as required by the Town ordinance for private on-site wastewater disposal systems.

A "Yes" vote will pave the way for the Town to issue our Y a Certificate of Occupancy, allowing us to open our modern new home to our members and the public.

"If all goes well on Wednesday, look for us to be able to open our doors in a matter of days," says Family Y CEO Rob Reeves. "We'll set a specific date and also keep members informed about the transition process of moving out of our downtown facility to the Bedford Family Center."

With all safety and security measures and controls now operational, the Y has scheduled a series of Open House preview tours of its new facility at 14 Allen Raymond Lane in Westport. The scheduled times are 12-2 pm and 5-7 pm on weekdays, and 9am-12 noon on Saturdays. No reservations are needed. Please click on this link for detailed directions to the new Y, as well as the online calendar of scheduled Open House tours.

For information about membership, please call 203-226-8981 or visit this page at http://www.westporty.org .

To view the latest photos of the new Y facility, taken at the Aug. 28 Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, please click here.

new pool


Gala Celebration on Oct. 11 Sold Out

It will be quite a party at the new Westport Weston Family Y! After a decade-long quest to plan, design and gain approval for a much-needed new facility, after years of fundraising to finance our “Building What Matters” capital campaign, and following 18 months of construction, the time has come to celebrate a remarkable achievement: The completion of the Y’s $38.5 million modern new home at its 32-acre Mahackeno campus along the Saugatuck River just north of downtown Westport.

GalaWe will be opening our new 54,000 sq. foot Y as soon as the Town of Westport grants us our all-important certificate of occupancy. (Click here for info about scheduled Open House preview tours.)

On Saturday, Oct. 11, Y leaders, volunteers, members, staff and other supporters will “Celebrate What Matters” with a special Gala dinner in our spacious new gymnasium, specially decorated for the occasion.

“It’s an evening to express our gratitude to the philanthropic leaders who have inspired us, to thank our volunteers and staff for their efforts, and a night to celebrate our continuing cause of strengthening our community,” says Rob Reeves, Family Y CEO.

All proceeds from the Gala Celebration benefit the Y’s Annual Campaign, which allows our nonprofit charitable organization to provide camp scholarships, free or subsidized memberships and other financial assistance to local families and individuals in need.

Seating is limited to 300, and the Y’s volunteer-driven Gala Committee is pleased to report that the event is already sold out.

The Celebration at the Y’s new facility at 14 Allen Raymond Lane begins at 5 pm with the opening bids for our Silent Auction, which will feature dozens of beautiful items and extraordinary opportunities. (Think of an Heirloom Family Portrait by noted Weston artist Alison Wachstein, tickets to the Westport Country Playhouse, a 7-night stay at a beach condo in Cabo San Lucas, and much more…)

Following cocktails, at 7 pm, our Master of Ceremonies, award-winning actor James Naughton will welcome our guests. Dinner, catered by Ridgefield Prime, will be served at 7:30 pm. Dessert will be a delectable make-your-own sundae bar, provided by Saugatuck Sweets.

Music for the evening will be provided by the NYC/CT based trio Suit Ty Thurrsty. Tom (The Suit) Forst, Tyree (Ty) Pope and Pedro (Bigg Thurrsty) Johnson have created a band that rocks with the best of them, featuring unique, driving original songs with a blend of rock, blues, funk, soul and hop hop.

puppyA Live Auction, presided over by Seth Watsky from Christie’s Auction House, will follow dinner - think luxurious travel with Tauck World Discovery and some special opportunities, like an adorable 12-week-old Mini Goldendoodle puppy looking to become part of a local Y family.

Born July 19 at Country MiniDoodles in Indiana to a Golden Retriever mom and Miniature Poodle dad, this little guy has recently completed 4 weeks of training with Bill Miller of Smiling Dog Pet Services. Like the Labradoodle, Mini Goldendoodles are bred to produce a very low shedding pet, which makes them popular with many allergy sufferers. They usually grow to about 13-16 inches tall and weigh 25-35 fully grown.

Bill Miller says they are intelligent, friendly, usually like the water and are great with kids. Miller adds that these dogs have been easier to train and housebreak than any other breed he has worked with. Our Mini Golden Doodle is valued at $5,000 and may well fetch much more.

And, of course, it’s all for a great cause!

For further information about the Gala and the Y’s Annual Campaign, please contact Susie Haydon at 203-226-8981 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Highlights From Our Ribbon-Cutting

“I think this is awesome. I knew it was going to be a really big building, but I did not know it was going to be this big and this much fun." So said Ben Gault, 11, of Westport, who was taking a first turn on the new basketball court following the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Westport Weston Family Y on Aug. 28.

"I didn't like it, I loved it," said Erik Melingonis’ young daughter, after playing in the gym and Fort Mack, part of the new Y’s Kids’ Club playscape and child watch area.

Out of the mouth of babes …

Nearly 500 Y leaders, members and supporters gathered together on a beautiful summer evening outside the front entrance to the Bedford Family Center, as the 54,000 sq. ft. Y facility will be known, to celebrate the historic occasion. To view a photo gallery of the evening, please click here.

Also on hand were a number of local reporters and photographers. Allow us to share some highlights of their coverage…

From Jarret Liotta of the Westport News', “Westport Y cuts ribbon for new home, unwraps a dream”:
:
What began as a dream is now a brick-and-mortar reality.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday evening at the new Westport Weston Family Y -- now to be known as the Bedford Family Center -- gave hundreds of people a chance to spend time in the new $38.5 million complex and reflect on the sometimes-bumpy journey that got them there.

The 54,000-square-foot building, constructed on the Family Y's 32-acre Mahackeno camp property along the Saugatuck River, replaces the Y's longtime home downtown at 59 Post Road East. The facilities, however, are not yet open for use by the Y's 5,500 members because of unfinished construction work and needed town approval of the waste water system….

The plan for the new Y was first approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2008, but several lawsuits tied up the project until the final challenge was dismissed in 2011. Construction on the complex began in 2013, and officials now hope to have final details complete by sometime in September although no date has been publicly announced.

"We will open our new building at Mahackeno for use by our members as soon as all necessary town and state conditions are met and approvals are received," Reeves said in a recent statement. "We will announce that specific opening date as soon as possible."

From Dan Woog’s 06880 blog:

A video tribute featuring Allen Raymond was the emotional highlight of yesterday evening’s Westport Y ribbon-cutting ceremony. But there were many other memorable moments too, at the new Mahackeno facility.

The spacious new parking lot was filled. Y members, staffers, volunteers and friends gathered to celebrate the move from the 90-year-old downtown facility, to the one off Wilton Road.

Longtime benefactors were honored at a pre-dedication reception inside. The Gault, Mitchell and Tauck families headed the list.

Then the group assembled outside the west-facing front entrance. Replicating the work of his predecessor 91 years ago, Reverend Jeffrey Rider of Greens Farms Congregational Church delivered a prayer that invoked the first chapter of the Bible: Rather than dwell alone, mankind should be part of a community.

From James Lomuscio of Westportnow.com:

The spirit of the late Allen Raymond was present in the hearts of many—as well as on the huge, outdoor video screen—during tonight’s ribbon cutting for the new Westport Weston Family Y.

Raymond, a.k.a. Mr. Westport—and who was such a devoted Y proponent the road leading to the new facility is named after him—told the approximate 400 guests in a video recorded before his death May 1 at age 91 that he probably would not live to see this day. (See video here.)

“This crazy kid at the age of 91 had hoped to be the first to go down the great slide into the pool at this magnificent new Y,” Raymond said. “But that didn’t work out.

“However, let no one doubt that I am here rejoicing and cheering with all of you today, and when you see that splash in the pool when no one’s around, you’ll know that I am finally reveling in Westport’s jewel.”

Hearing that, Renee Van Heerden of Westport, who lives nearby on River Lane, began to sob.

“Watching Allen Raymond, someone who was so dedicated and couldn’t be here for the opening, it brought me to tears, and I didn’t expect that,” she said later.

More sweet than bitter sweet, however, the ribbon cutting at the Y’s Mahackeno campus off Exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway capped more than a decade of planning, fundraising, opposition, court battles, state and town approvals.

Still, after a decade of uphill climbs, proponents were bullish, feeling home free in their new home.

“On behalf of the Town of Westport, and as its first selectman, it is my distinct honor and privilege to welcome all of you to the newest crown jewel of Westport,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe, a former chair of the Y board of trustees and member before resigning upon taking office last November.

“After a long, arduous and at times contentious journey, this magnificent facility is about to be opened to the benefit of many individuals, family and community groups that partake in the myriad of programs offered by the Westport Weston Family Y.”

Community seemed to be the operative word of the evening. Invoking scripture, the Rev. Jeffrey Rider of the Green’s Farms Congregational Church said the new building “calls us to community ...not to be alone.”

Standing in front of the Vince and Linda McMahon Family Gymnasium, was Linda McMahon, the former U.S. Senate candidate and WWE owner whose family foundation donated $1 million to the new Y. She reiterated the theme of community.

“It’s nice to be able to do nice things,” McMahon said of her donation (shown here with Y Trustee Chair Pete Wolgast). “This is about the building of community.”

The Family Y building had originally been envisioned at about twice the size, but the Y had to scale it back because the nonprofit was unable to raise the required funding.

The architect’s plans provide for future expansion.

To view of photo gallery of photos from the evening by Dave Matlow of westportnow.com, please click here.

From the Westport Weston Family Y’s homepage:

Following our Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 28, the new Westport Weston Family Y at 14 Allen Raymond Lane will offer self-guided preview tours prior to its official opening later in September.

"With our punch-list shrinking by the day and key safety and security measures now in place, we've received permission from town authorities to switch from our current guided tours to being able to schedule a series of Open Houses for current and prospective members," says Family Y CEO Rob Reeves.

The dates and times are:

Saturday, Aug. 30, 9 am - 12 pm

Tuesday, Sept. 2, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Thursday, Sept. 4, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Friday, Sept. 5, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 6, 9 am - 12 pm

Monday, Sept. 8, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Thursday, Sept. 11, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Friday, Sept. 12, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 13, 9 am - 12 pm

This schedule is also available online.

DIRECTIONS: Situated at the Y's 32-acre Mahackeno campus, the new facility is at Route 33 and the Exit 41 Northbound interchange of the Merritt Parkway. Allen Raymond Lane is reached via the short connector road leading from Route 33 (Wilton Road) toward the northbound on-off ramp. Stay in the right lane and proceed past the Red Barn restaurant toward the Y's parking lot.

Y staff will be on hand to greet visitors at the Welcome Center, introduce them to the facility and answer any questions they may have about the Y's Fall programs. They'll also be able to process membership applications, including a special offer to waive the Join Fee for new members who join before September 30, 2014.

For more information about the new Family Y, including membership rates and policies, please contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981, ext. 161, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Open House Tours of New Y

Following our Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 28, the new Westport Weston Family Y at 14 Allen Raymond Lane is now offering self-guided preview tours prior to its official opening later in September.

"With our punch-list shrinking by the day and key safety and security measures now in place, we've received permission from town authorities to switch from our current guided tours to being able to schedule a series of Open Houses for current and prospective members," says Family Y CEO Rob Reeves.

location map of new YThe dates and times are:

Monday, Sept. 15, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Thursday, Sept. 18, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Friday, Sept. 19, 12-2 pm, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 20, 9 am - 12 pm

This schedule is also available online.

DIRECTIONS: Situated at the Y's 32-acre Mahackeno campus, the new facility is at Route 33 and the Exit 41 Northbound interchange of the Merritt Parkway. Allen Raymond Lane is reached via the short connector road leading from Route 33 (Wilton Road) toward the northbound on-off ramp. Stay in the right lane and proceed past the Red Barn restaurant toward the Y's parking lot.

Y staff will be on hand to greet visitors at the Welcome Center, introduce them to the facility and answer any questions they may have about the Y's Fall programs. They'll also be able to process membership applications, including a special offer to waive the Join Fee for new members who join before September 30, 2014.

“We are encouraged by the interest of so many members and prospective members in visiting our new facility prior to its opening,” said Reeves.

Please check our website for the latest information about our opening status.

For more information about the new Family Y, including membership rates and policies, please contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981, ext. 161, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Below are the floor plans for the new Y facility. (To download a pdf version, please click here.)

floor plans

Register for Fall Programs Today

The start of the Westport Weston Family Y’s Fall Session is the start of something great – the first classes and activities to take place in our brand-new Y facility, the Bedford Family Center, at 14 Allen Raymond Lane on the Y’s 32-acre Mahackeno campus.

Registration for our Fall programming, which begins Sept. 8 and runs through Dec. 7, is now under way. Please check this link to view our 40-page Fall Program brochure, and here's the link to register for classes online.

In addition to our many popular programs offered every fall, from swim lessons to soccer to travel basketball, we’re introducing a number of new classes and activities for Family Y members of all ages. Among them:

Twinkle Tots, a dance class for kids ages 2-3 to begin learning fun dance combinations and the technical skills in ballet and tap;
Cheer Clinic, a gymnastics class for ages 7-12 to work on jumps, stunts and tumbling skills; Sept. 14-Oct. 19, Sundays, 3-5 pm at our Y Gymnastics Center in Norwalk;
Pickleball, the fastest-growing racquet sport in America – offered at various times throughout the week in our multi-purpose gymnasium

Among the many new benefits of being in our modern new home is the full accessibility for all people, from moms with strollers to seniors with mobility issues. That access begins at our parking lot and front entrance, with a row of parking spaces nearby for those with handicap permits.
New Y Parking
With our elevator linking the facility’s two levels, it’s easy for all to get to any space within the Bedford Family Center. Our Wellness Center features an easy-access ramp, as does our warm-water shallow pool, with its “zero-depth” entry and convenient railings.

We’re also pleased to be introducing several new classes at our new Y that are designed to appeal to Y families who have children with special needs. These include:

Super Sports, a multi-sports program at which parents are welcome; 3-5 years old, Thurs. 1:30-2:30; 5-7 years old, 4-5 pm
Kidz in Motion, a Dance class for children with developmental and cognitive delays, down syndrome and slight autism; parent must attend first class; Mondays, 4:30-5:30 pm, starting Sept. 8
Special Needs Swim Lessons, offered Mondays, 5:30-6:15; Fridays, 4-5pm and 5-6 pm
Beginner Gymnastics, a half-hour of structured instruction and half-hour of open play; parents must attend. Oct. 5-Nov. 23, Sundays, 11 am-12 pm at our Y Gymnastics Center in Norwalk

What else is new at our new Y?

KayleySome new faces. Although our new Y is actually smaller than our old downtown location in terms of square footage, the more efficient layout and use of spaces has allowed us to expand our programs and services – and add new staff to make it all happen.

Kayley Gallagher joined the Family Y in July as our new Sports & Recreation Director. Kayley grew up playing basketball and soccer at the Hockomock YMCA in Franklin & North Attleboro, Mass. She played varsity for both sports all four years in high school, and continued with club basketball at North Carolina State University, where she obtained a BS in Sport Management. She then went on to receive her MS in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University.

Kayley’s professional career with the Y began in 2011 when she completed an internship with the sports department at the Wilmington Family Y in Wilmington, N.C. She stayed at the Wilmington Y for a year working in the sports & wellness departments before moving to Boston for graduate school.

At our new Y, Kayley will supervise our volleyball, fencing, pickleball, karate and travel basketball programs and will also teach our soccer and basketball classes.

Coming to the Westport Weston Family Y is a homecoming of sorts for Kayley. Her father grew up in Fairfield and her mother was raised in Trumbull.

“Westport and Weston are beautiful communities that perfectly embody the Y’s areas of focus in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” says Kayley.

“I am extremely fortunate to come aboard at such an exciting time for the Westport Weston Family Y,” she adds. “I got to spend the summer in the downtown facility and appreciate all the great history and memories made in the original Y. That being said, I am excited about the space and various opportunities that will be available at the new Y to enhance our Sports & Recreation offerings.”

If you have any questions or comments for Kayley, feel free to send her an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For more information about our new Y and the Fall Session of classes and activities, beginning the week of Sept. 8, visit our website or call 203-226-8981.

new gym

Schedule a Preview Tour of Our New Y

With the official opening of the Y’s new home at our Mahackeno campus delayed due to unforeseen construction delays, the Family Y has expanded its schedule of small-group guided tours of the new facility through Sept. 5 -- our Y's 91st Anniversary.

For dates and times, please see below, or check out this online calendar. To reserve your place in one of these tours, please contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981, ext. 161 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Of the delay in opening, Family Y CEO Rob Reeves explained, “Unfortunately, we’re unable to confirm exactly when we will receive the necessary sign-offs from local and state officials, which would allow us to open our pools. We don't want to open our new Y until the entire facility is ready for use by our members and guests.”
tour july 2014
A new opening date will be announced later this month, and we fully expect to be up and running in our modern new facility in September.

We will continue all operations at our downtown facility until we move into the new Y – allowing members to continue their health & wellness routines.

The Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony will take place as previously scheduled on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7 pm. This special event will involve Y volunteers, donors, staff and members as well as an array of state and local civic leaders and public officials.

Current Schedule of Small-group Guided Tours of the New Y,
Aug. 8 – Sept. 5 – Reservation Required*


Friday, Aug. 22, 10:30 am, 12:15 pm
Saturday, Aug. 23, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am

Monday, Aug. 25, 10:30 am, 12:15 pm, 6:30 pm
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 8 am, 2 pm
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 10:30 am, 12:15 pm, 7 pm
Thursday, Aug. 28, 8 am, 2 pm
Friday, Aug. 29, 10:30 am, 12:15 pm, 6:30 pm
Saturday, Aug. 30, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am
Tuesday, Sept. 2, 8 am, 2 pm, 7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 10:30 am, 12:15 pm, 7 pm
Thursday, Sept. 4, 8 am, 2 pm, 7 pm
Friday, Sept. 5, 10:30 am, 12:15 pm, 7 pm

“We are encouraged by the interest of so many members and prospective members in visiting our new facility prior to its opening,” said Reeves (shown above conducting a recent tour). “Working with our construction partners, we’ve been able to set additional dates and times to accommodate this demand.”

Please check our website for the latest information about our opening status.

All Family Y facilities will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1, in honor of Labor Day. Additional preview tours of our new Y are expected to take place through to the Y’s official opening.

For more information about the new Family Y, including membership rates and policies, please contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981, ext. 161, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Below is a photo of the new Expresso exercise bikes in our Wellness Center. To view more recent photos of our new Y, please click here.

Expresso bikes

Fall Program Registration Now Under Way

The Westport Weston Family Y’s Fall 2014 Session of classes and activities will begin the week of Sept. 8 at the Y’s soon-to-open facility at its 32-acre Mahackeno campus. Open registration for all Members starts Aug. 11.

To view the scheduled classes, with complete descriptions and the latest information about our new Y, please click here for the online version of our colorful, 40-page Fall 2014 Program Brochure; look for the print version in your mailbox soon. The Fall Session of classes and activities runs through Dec. 7, and also include programming at the Y Gymnastics Center at 145 Main St. in Norwalk, opened this past June.

Fall 2014 brochure coverThe new 54,000 sq. ft. facility at the Y’s summer-camp property along the Saugatuck River will be known as the Bedford Family Center, in honor of the Y’s founder, E.T. Bedford, and the continuing support of our Y by his descendants.

The new Y will include a 10-lane, 25-yard lap pool and adjacent warm-water family/teaching/therapeutic pool; a 5,600 sq. ft. Wellness Center with expansive views of the Saugatuck River and wooded Mahackeno grounds; multi-purpose Gymnasium; three group-fitness studios; a Kids’ Club child watch area; a cafe for members; five locker rooms, including one for those with dependent care; and other amenities of a modern, family-oriented Y facility.

For the latest update on the construction progress, including photos of our new Y, inside and out, please click here.

For more information about the new Family Y, including membership rates and policies, please visit the Membership section at www.westporty.org or contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981, ext. 161, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

front entrance

Y After School Program for K-5th Graders

The Westport Weston Family Y’s After School Program for Westport students in grade K through 5 will resume with the beginning of the school year on Aug. 25. The Y’s After School program will take place at Saugatuck Elementary School at 170 Riverside Ave., with buses transporting students daily from their grade schools to Saugatuck Elementary, where the children will play games, do crafts, enjoy a snack and outdoor play and get homework help from Y staff until pick-up at 6 pm.

On Thursdays and Fridays, children will be taken by bus for swim lessons and recreational swimming at the new Westport Weston Family Y, at 14 Allen Raymond Lane on the Y’s nearby Mahackeno campus. Children may be picked up at the Y on those days or will be brought back to the school site for pick-up at 6 pm.

Y After School“We’re delighted once again to be able to have Saugatuck Elementary as our After School base this year,” says Meg George, Camp & Family Services Director. “The bright and airy cafeteria is a great space for doing crafts and games, having a snack and getting homework done, and just out the back door is a really fun playground.

“And, of course, we can’t wait to introduce our After School kids to our brand-new Y upon its opening on Aug. 29. They’re going to love our warm-water family pool, with its basketball hoops and “splash pad” play features. We also have a big new gym and the Nussbaum Kids’ Club, with the Fort Mack playscape,” Meg adds.

Children can register for 2, 3 or 5 days a week. School half days are included from dismissal time until 6 pm if they fall on the child's regularly scheduled day.

The Family Y also offers a Vacation Special Program, which runs on many of the school holidays and breaks, starting on Sept. 25, when local schools are closed for Rosh Hashanah. Vacation Special Days include field trips, gym time and swimming at the Y.

The new Family Y is also offering a free Child Watch program in our Kids’ Club for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old who are part of a Family Membership. Children who have a youth membership or who are the children of Adult members may use the Kids’ Club for a fee of $5 per visit.

Fort MackMade possible through the generosity of Gloria and Peter Nussbaum, the Kids’ Club is located just inside our new Y’s Welcome Center and includes games, crafts and our indoor jungle gym, Fort Mack. Children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old may play in this room for up to two hours a day while their guardians remain in the building using the facility or taking part in a class.

“We look forward to being able to offer local families these exciting new opportunities for their children, whether it’s through our After School Program or our new Kids’ Club,” says Rob Reeves, Family Y CEO. “Whether you’re a family with two working parents or a stay-at-home mom or dad looking to work out or spend some quality time at the Y with your child, we’re here to help.”

For more information about the Y’s After School Program, including registration forms and fees, please visit http://www.westporty.org and click on the Youth Development tab, through to the Early Learning Program section. For specific questions, please contact Meg George at 203-226-8981, ext. 179 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

New Y to Open to Members Aug. 29

Following years of planning and after 18 months of construction, on Friday, Aug. 29, at 5:30 am, the Westport Weston Family Y will open the doors to its new 54,000 sq. ft. facility at 14 Allen Raymond Lane. This first day of operations will be reserved for Y members; the new Family Y will be open free of charge to all members of the community over the Labor Day Holiday Weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7 pm and will involve Y volunteers, donors, staff and members as well as an array of state and local civic leaders and public officials.

“Having served the community for the past 90 years at our original location in downtown Westport, at long last we are poised to begin the next chapter in our Y’s history in our modern new home,” says Family Y CEO Rob Reeves.

front entrance July 2014“We thank our supporters for helping us ‘Build What Matters’ and are tremendously grateful to both Turner Construction and our volunteer-led Construction Committee for bringing us in on budget and some weeks ahead of schedule.”

For the latest update on the construction progress, including photos of our new Y, inside and out, please click here.

The $38.5 million facility at the Y’s Mahackeno summer-camp property along the Saugatuck River will be known as the Bedford Family Center, in honor of the Y’s founder, E.T. Bedford, and the continuing support of our Y by his descendants.

The new Y will include a 10-lane, 25-yard lap pool and adjacent warm-water family/ teaching/therapeutic pool; a 5,600 sq. ft. Wellness Center with expansive views of the Saugatuck River and wooded Mahackeno grounds; multi-purpose Gymnasium; three group-fitness studios; Y Kids’ Club child watch area; a cafe for members; five locker rooms, including one for those with dependent care; and other amenities of a modern, family-oriented Y facility.

For more information about the new Family Y, including membership rates and policies, please visit this section on www.westporty.org or contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981, ext. 161, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

12-minute drive to new Y

New Family Y Nears Completion

From the clean white lines on the parking lot to the ballet barres in the group fitness studio, the new Westport Weston Family Y is fast approaching completion. Please click on this link to see the latest photos of our new Y facility and the grounds of our 32-acre Mahackeno campus.

You’ll see the William L. Gault Welcome Center is taking final shape, with the counter and sitting areas now in place. Just around the corner, the cafe has its kitchen sink and will be finished in short order.

Across the main hall in the Nussbaum Kids’ Club, made possible by Gloria and Peter Nussbaum. Inside, Fort Mack is awaiting its first visitors; this bright and bold playscape will be surefire hit with youngsters.

cycle roomOn the lower level, our three group-fitness studios have their mirrors in place and will soon get a final touch-up of paint. Our 5,600 sq. ft. Robin Tauck Wellness Center has received its all-new equipment which is now being installed; see this article for details.Soon, 21 new spin bikes roll into play in our Cycle Room (shown at right).

Dozens of skilled workers are busy with the intricate work of finishing our two pools in the Strittmatter Family Aquatic Center – installing the deck drains, laying hundreds of thousands of tiles and setting up the Splash Pad water features for toddlers. We expect the pools to be filled with water around Aug. 18 and are told that it takes about 10 days for the water to be conditioned as “swim ready.” Our pools will need to be certified by state officials before we're able to open them for public use.

Elsewhere across the scenic setting of our new Y, the foundations for two new open-air pavilions are being laid near the playing fields of Camp Mahackeno. These structures, made possible through the generosity of the two Rotary Clubs of Westport, will give our summer-day campers and other Y members and guests plenty of shade and shelter and new programming options.

Fort MackAllen Raymond Lane, the access road linking the Bedford Family Center to the public road connecting our new Y with Wilton Road (Route 33) and the Merritt Parkway’s Exit 41 northbound on/off ramps, has been paved. Our dear friend must surely be smiling down upon us…

The completion of this roadway, parking lot and sidewalks leading up to the doors of the Bedford Family Center will allow us to expand our tours of the facility by mid-August. At that time, we expect to have some staff on-site with critical systems up and running, from computers to key safety measures. Stay turned for details!

“We look forward to welcoming one and all to our new Y in just a few short weeks,” says Family Y CEO Rob Reeves. “In the meantime, we’re enjoying a very busy and fun-filled last summer at our downtown Y, with our special Hafaday-Mahackeno camp, Dance and Youth camps and all of our other summer programming. And our new Y Gymnastics Center at 145 Main St. in Norwalk opened recently to great fanfare and is proving to be a wonderful new space. I commend our staff and the many Y volunteers who help us for all their efforts this summer.”

For more information about the Family Y – its new facility, membership rates and policies and current schedules – please visit our website. Under the Membership tab, you’ll find a set of FAQs about the new Y, a new Membership Handbook and online application to join our Y, as well as details about the Y’s special offer of 5 Free Visits to the Y’s downtown facility, which runs through July 31.

With the opening of our modern new facility in early September, the Y will be incorporating new fees for members who join the Y after Aug. 1, 2014. Please click on this link for a pdf, for how much you will save by joining the Y before Aug. 1. Current Y Youth and Student members have also been informed of policy changes to these types of membership via a personal letter, with the opportunity to change or upgrade their membership status prior to Aug. 1 at a special rate. Also, the Y is offering members currently paying for a locker at the downtown facility the opportunity to reserve a Kit Locker at the new Y; the fee is $250 a year.

For questions or to find out more, please contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981, ext. 161, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).