Work began at A. W Stanley Park to renovate the park bringing in a new pool, paths, parking lot, basketball hoops, baseball fields and more began last Fall, but the cold weather has slowed it down.
“We attempted to start before it got really cold, but once the ground freezes we can’t do anything,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “The cost of the project is not for the pool, but for the entire park. We are doing everything over. There will also be environmental work, paths and a trail around the pond.”
The firm of Banton Construction of North Haven is doing the construction at a cost of $5.4 million.
“Things will be a bit reversed. Where the pool is now, there will be a softball field. Where the parking lot is now, is where the pool will go,” said Erik Barbieri, park and recreation director. “We laid out the park in the way the architects saw was most beneficial. There will be more active users on one side of the park and the passive users on the other side of the park.”
All the baseball, softball and pool participants will be on one side. The other side will have picnic tables and a nature walk.
Public works is working on a bike trail that will connect to the nature trail in the back and will eventually connect into other parks.
“A.W. is really getting a nice facelift,” added Barbieri.
The process had been held up for several years. There was an error in the calculation of the flood plain which did not allow for permission to build the pool which had to be redone. The project was also scaled back as it cost more funds than bonded. Initially $8 million was bonded for the project. The scope of the pool was also reduced to save costs.
A new baseball field is being built because there are so many youth playing at the New Britain Little League.
The current pool had various issues. Children have had cement stuck in their feet causing their feet to bleed. Many of the walls and floors are hollow. The concrete underneath the pool is also not very good. When the City puts concrete on top it just falls apart.
Construction will be completed for the pool portion by summertime.