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Former State Hospital Staff Housing Renovated For Parent Connection

Published: June 3, 2016

The smell of fresh earth-toned paint filled rooms at the duplex building at 63 Washington Square in Fairfield Hills. Ross Carley and several other Fairfield Hills Authority members, along with First Selectman Pat Llodra, Land Use Director George Benson and interested resident Richmond Jones, one-by-one stepped through a back door for a tour. Also touring with the group was Fairfield Hills Authority clerk Georgia Contois.

Thanks to more than $750,000 in grant and town Capital Improvement Plan funds, a newly renovated 4,800 square-feet on two floors will be occupied by Parent Connection, per a ten-year lease agreement with the town.

“It’s an investment,” Mr Carley said. Town grants coordinator Christal Preszler anticipates a July move-in date.

Parent Connection, according to its website, aims to “educate and empower our community in the prevention of substance abuse and to embrace families in crisis.”

Its goal is to continue to work in conjunction with town agencies, police department, schools and religious communities to enlighten the community in order to prevent the use of drugs and alcohol among the town’s youth.

Once the lease expires, Newtown will still own the building, Mr Carley said. He hopes that once duplex 63 is occupied, and a new community center goes in near NYA Sports & Fitness Center — funds were recently approved for its construction — “maybe more buildings” will be of interest to investors or tenants wishing to relocate to Fairfield Hills.

While the town has set aside funds for the destruction of some of the older buildings within the former state hospital complex, other structures remain viable for renovation. Canaan House is currently in the preliminary stages of demolition and will be down by the end of this summer.

Duplex 63 formerly served as doctors’ housing when the campus was a psychiatric hospital that opened in the late 1930s, with its last building closing in the mid-1990s. Looking past number 63 and other duplexes along a circular drive, Mr Carley pointed toward the Victory Garden — a volunteer community project — toward a field where additional staff housing recently stood. Contractors recently razed eight single-family houses.

“The area would be a good grove,” he said, suggesting a picnic area could be established there.

He was soon a few steps behind Mrs Llodra, who walked through a brief entry and into a large room with a fireplace at one end. Looking at the refinished space with its detailed woodwork, she said, “Gorgeous,” and “Spectacular.” A

walk through the great room and into a front lobby led the small tour to the foot of a tall staircase. Once in the upstairs hall, Ms Preszler noted the deep windowsills and spacious upper rooms.

Michael Burton Builders is doing the renovation work, and LRM Landscaping is completing the site work.



Terms Of Lease

According to a lease agreement on file with the town, the tenant shall have the right and option to extend the original term of this lease for two successive periods of ten years each; the rental during each of the option periods shall be mutually agreed upon.

The annual rent for the first ten years of the term of this lease shall be one dollar ($1), payable in one installment in advance.

The lease also includes terms for the tenant to pay common area maintenance charges annually of $1,905. Charges include snow removal, lawn maintenance and electricity for common parking areas and signage, the lease states.


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