The new Branford Community House, which combines the current Community House with the Senior Center, is about a month away from being handed back over to the town from the construction company, and after the town takes about a month to move in the town departments and set up the technical equipment, will be reopened to the public.
When reopened to the public, it will mark the completion of a construction project that took a structure over 50 years old through a complete rehabilitation and upgrade and added square footage to serve as an all-ages community center.
The project passed all major town boards and commissions unanimously after a lengthy process of public hearings and presentations to gather community input. The process, initially led by architect Sandra Vlock and first selectman Jamie Cosgrove created a “hub and spoke” model for town, creating a central location for events while also realizing that residents make extensive use of other town facilities, like the Blackstone Library, and private ones, like the YMCA.
Even with the 12.5 million dollar price tag approved by the town, the project will likely mean significant savings over the next decades as it combines multiple structures into one. It is expected that the town will see savings longterm in maintenance costs, energy costs and potentially staffing over time.
The full name of the facility, Joe Trapasso Community House Honoring Branford World War II Veterans, was passed earlier this year by the Parks and Recreation Commission. The main entrance, according to Cosgrove, will likely feature separate displays honoring Branford’s World War II veterans and honoring Joe Trapasso for his direct contributions in creating Branford’s first community house, which, ironically started as an all-ages facility, including the senior center.
A grand opening will likely be scheduled in September.