Today I completed a survey about a permanent memorial for the victims of Sandy Hook School. As a landscape designer, I want to share my thoughts to aid in discussion.
I vision an outdoor memorial at a park in town that is not the sole purpose of the park. The memorial should be a place you visit when you want to reflect on those lost but are not reminded if you are trying to forget for a day.
Sharing a short story with the Fairfield Hills Authority Monday, Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold offered a glimpse of what “makes me feel good” about her job: A woman stopped her recently while on the Fairfield Hills grounds, saying she had to leave her child’s bike behind as they walked through a meadow, which the bike couldn’t cross. The woman had said to Ms Mangold, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a trail going all the way around the campus?”
Another main piece of the Fairfield Hills skyline is gone: Danbury Hall this week is reduced to just rubble as Bestech crews work to separate and remove or reuse the debris. Ground-down concrete will fill the empty hollow where Danbury Hall once stood, making a home to then-state hospital staff.
Stepping back for a better view of the new Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Association (NVAA) garage at Fairfield Hills, Board of Trustees President Robert Grossman, MD, watched contractors finish floors in the entryway.
Danbury Hall’s days are dwindling. With big machines at rest around its perimeter, demolition could begin as soon as Monday, September 29, confirmed Christal Preszler with the Newtown Planning Department. This week, the wood was being stripped from the building, she said. Bestech is the demolition contractor.
Soon, the corner of Trades Lane and Wasserman Way at the Fairfield Hills main entrance will offer a clear view of soccer fields and a waking path now blocked by the 1930s brick structure.
A new proposal for reuse that echoes Fairfield Hills’s origins has come before the authority overseeing that property.
On Monday, September 22, Fairfield Hills Authority members and several town officials heard from HealthVest facility CEO Richard Kresch, MD, who discussed plans for a psychiatric hospital. He told authority members that his company acquires distressed facilities or develops new ones.
Hula hoops cast dizzying shadows across the Fairfield Hills lawn Sunday, September 14, where Tanner Chase of Velvet Orchid out of Bristol danced through her hoop routine. Surrounding her were a dozen children with their own hoops, aiming to keep them spinning. With Newtown Arts Festival going on around them, others celebrated under a baby blue sky with ribbons, rainbow splashes of paint, arts, crafts, demonstrations, sculpture, poetry reading, and more.