Facilities Study Task Force votes to bring recommendations to Darien Board of Selectmen
Members attending the Facilities Study Task Force's final meeting Monday night unanimously voted to move its recommendations forward to the Board of Selectmen. Task force member Elizabeth Hagerty-Ross, who sits on the Board of Education, was absent from the meeting.
The task force was created by Republican First Selectman David Campbell in early January, and has met six times since, in an effort to shed light on Campbell's proposed facility shuffle. The group's official charge is to "study the facilities currently occupied by the senior center, the Board of Education and the vacant facility at 35 Leroy Ave. to determine the best long-term location for the senior center and the Board of Education and any subsequent recommended alterations to the subject properties."
The task force, chaired by Republican Selectman Jayme Stevenson, unanimously voted last month to recommend to the BOS that the current senior center facility, located at 30 Edgerton Road, does not lend itself to renovation and should not be considered as a possible location for the senior center moving forward.
The second recommendation was made Monday night, and stated that the task force "believes that moving the senior center to 2 Renshaw Road in conjunction with moving the Board of Education to 35 Leroy Ave. (Scenario 1) and moving the senior center to 35 Leroy Ave. (Scenario 2) are both feasible options that deserve further study."
According to the official recommendation, the task force was unable to select one option over the other, because important information about costs, timing and programming at the senior center were not fully defined; the task force recommended addressing those issues in future studies.
The task force evaluated criteria for assessment in three categories: critical; important; and relevant. Critical criteria to be considered when evaluating both "scenarios" included physical and programmatic, expansion potential for future use, site considerations and timing. Important criteria included construction quality, neighborhood impact, parking and synergies. Relevant criteria included entrance accessibility and possible effects on the relationship between the Town and the BOE.
According to the final matrix approved by the task force, the pros in the critical criteria portion of "Scenario 1" outnumbered cons 29 to 14, by 16 to seven in important factors and by six to four in relevant factors. In "Scenario 2," the task force identified 16 pros and 22 cons in critical criteria, eight pros and eight cons in important criteria and four pros and three cons in relevant criteria.
The BOS will discuss the task force's findings and recommendations at its regular meeting on Monday, March 1 at 7:45 p.m. in Town Hall room 206. The meeting will also air on Channel 79.