The Board of Selectmen is looking for people to serve on a committee to decide what repairs should be made to shuttered Penfield Pavilion, but frustrated members of the Parks and Recreation Commission simply want work to reopen the beachfront building to start as soon as possible.
The selectmen recently discussed establishing a new building committee for Penfield Pavilion, which has been closed since damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy inflicted last October, but took no official vote.
This week, the board issued a news release seeking residents who might be interested in serving on the a building panel.
"I don't see a lot of sense of urgency," Parks and Recreation Chairman Dante Gallucci said at a recent meeting of his commission. In fact, the pace at which the pavilion repairs are proceeding "depresses me, to be honest."
Because of the storm damage, the pavilion was closed all this summer -- and likely will be closed next year as well.
The selectmen canceled their Oct. 3 meeting and are scheduled to hold a special meeting Oct. 9 on the Penfield committee.
Townspeople, Recreation Commissioner Alexa Mullady said, "have no clue" that Penfield will probably not be open next summer.
Gallucci said insurance adjustors have put the damage estimate at $2.3 million.
The building is appraised for $5.2 million, he said, indicating that the town does not have to elevate the structure -- it could simply make the needed repairs. If that work had been valued at more than 50 percent of the appraised value of the building, Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations requiring that the structure be elevated would apply.
"I think we're in repair mode," Gallucci said. "We could get moving on it."
He said other towns had damaged recreational facilities up and running for the summer, as was the nearby Fairfield Beach Club, which also suffered damage in the storm. The panel authorized Gallucci to write to town officials, urging them to move forward on the pavilion's repairs.
Town officials and design consultants last month made a presentation on alternatives being considered for the repair of Penfield Pavilion, which include repairing the building; repairing and elevating the building, or repairing, elevating and moving the building farther back from water into the parking lot.
For this committee, the selectmen are looking for residents with experience as architects, project managers, those in construction-related professions, as well as anyone with "an interest in helping to assure the best outcome for the town." Committee members must be approved by the selectmen and the Representative Town Meeting.
Residents interested in serving on the committee should send their resumes to the first selectman's office via email: email@example.com or via mail to 725 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. Questions about the recommendation and approval process as well as the proposed building committee itself can be directed to the first selectman's office at 203-256-3030.
The Penfield Pavilion repair options can be viewed on the town's website, www.fairfieldct.org, on the homepage under "Penfield Pavilion Complex: Restoration and Repair Design."