Darien Depot undergoes kitchen upgrades
How about a mint chocolate chip milkshake and a Blue Wave Burger with French fries?
Those are some of the foods prepared in the kitchen at The Depot (The Darien Youth Center), which recently underwent several upgrades.
One of them is a brand-new black and white speckled linoleum-tiled kitchen floor. The old floor was more than 20 years old.
Also, a new faucet was installed in the sink — with pull-down sprayers — and a new hot water heater.
The kitchen was also painted and white shelves were installed as well.
"It has been 12 years since we painted," said Janice Marzano, Depot program director.
The renovations began Aug. 21 and took one week to complete. During that time, The Depot was closed.
The kitchen is used very often at The Depot, according to Marzano.
"The kitchen is mostly used Friday and Saturday nights when we are open to the middle schoolers," she said. "It's also used after school and weeknights by the high schoolers."
Funding for all the kitchen upgrades was paid for by donations over the past few years.
The Depot, at 25 Heights Road, is a collaborative youth center that provides a safe space for youth to develop leadership, planning, and decision-making skills, interact with people of different backgrounds, to access adult role models, and serve as community assets.
"About 21 organizations in town use our building in one way or another, including over 1,300 people a year," said Kesti Aysseh, executive director of development.
These include Darien High School sports teams, Carnegie Prep SAT and ACT study groups, American Red Cross babysitting programs, Girl Scout functions, and the Darien YMCA. Residents also rent out the facility for birthday parties.
With all the updates, "we will be able to much better utilize the kitchen," Marzano said. "We have made it more user-friendly."
The Depot always welcomes donations, Aysseh said.
"With the donations that come into The Depot, we are able to maintain the building and upkeep it — not only for our Depot-used programs — but for other organizations in town that utilize the building," she added.
To donate to The Depot, click here.