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Fairfield's Penfield Pavilion Stays On Target To Reopen By Next Summer

Fairfield's Penfield Pavilion was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: File
James Bradley, chairman of the Penfield Building Commission, shows a chart of the commission's work to the Fairfield Board of Selectmen, including Selectman Kevin Kiley. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
Fairfield's Penfield Pavilion, which was completed in 2011, was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Since March, the Penfield Building Committee has been meeting twice a month as it works to get Fairfield’s Penfield Pavilion rebuilt for the town's residents to enjoy again.

Penfield Pavilion was moved off of its foundations during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and has unusable for Fairfield residents since then.

Insurance payments and FEMA requirements have stalled the rebuilding process, First Selectman Michael Tetreau said.

During a recent Board of Selectmen meeting, Penfield Building Committee Chairman James Bradley said the planning is on schedule for the pavilion to be rebuilt by next summer.

“We’re doing this in a very methodical organized way,” Bradley said.

In the months since the committee was put together, Bradley said, it has met with the Department of Public Works, town engineering, FEMA and several private engineering and construction companies to talk about the project.

“We’re looking at a five-month design program and an eight-month construction program,” Bradley said. The design phase is starting in May.

After a month of interviews, the committee chose DeStefano and Chamberlain as the project engineer and the Shawmut Design and Construction firm as the construction manager.

During the interviews, the committee asked each company to bring in a preliminary report on what it could do to repair the building. The two firms that were chosen showed that “the building can be repaired from both a physical and economic standpoint,” Bradley said.

“Take the time you need to do it right,” Tetreau said to Bradley during the meeting.

According to Bradley, the project is on track to be ready for the 2015 summer season, provided there are no delays in funding and approvals.

The problem, Tetreau said, “is that the insurance reimbursement is based on reimbursing what was there on Oct. 28,” before the storm hit.

The town has been arguing with the insurance company since the destructive hurricane.

“This is a complicated project,” Bradley said. “We want to do it right. It has to be done right.”

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