FAIRFIELD - After moving through the approval process, construction on the town’s new golf clubhouse is set to begin in November.

Since opening in 1972, the H. Smith Richardson golf course clubhouse has fallen into disrepair. Although talks have been in place to renovate or replace it since 2008, it took until 2018 to get the project off the ground. Now, the HSR Clubhouse Committee is excited to begin work on a new building.

After getting approval from the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting, the Clubhouse Committee drew up plans and entered the permitting process. It received approval from the Conservation Commission in May, and Town Plan and Zoning voted in its favor at its July 9 meeting.

The next step will be to work with the town’s Purchasing Department to go out for bids for a general contractor to oversee the building process. According to Clubhouse Committee Chairman Craig Curley, they’re hoping to submit a request for proposals by the end of the month and make a contractor selection by mid-September. This will give the contractor about six weeks to line up logistics before breaking ground in November, after the golf season has ended.

“Our plan is to allow the golf course to operate through the first weekend in November,” Curley said.

Construction will start with the demolition of the existing building, and the committee hopes to pour foundations for the new building by December so that work can continue through the winter. The new clubhouse is predicted to open around Labor Day 2020.

Although construction will continue through next year’s golf season, the committee is making provisions and working with the Parks and Recreation Department and the Golf Commission to ensure that business as usual can continue. They plan to set up a temporary pro shop, and the Golf Commission will account for amenities and concessions. The biggest issue will be with parking, as construction will reduce the number of spots from 160 to 100.

“It’ll be a little crowded, but we’ll find a way to make it work,” Curley said.

Notably, plans for the new clubhouse boast substantial views of the golf course. While the current clubhouse is tucked away without course views, the new design repositions it to look out onto the 18th hole from the dining room and bar. The course itself will conclude at the clubhouse, so golfers will be able to come in right from the 18th hole.

“It’s going to be quite an attractive position, so we’re really looking forward to that,” Curley said.

rscharf@hearstmediact.com