Big Holes To Fill

Scott Smith is a longtime, and very alert, “06880” reader. As communications director of the Westport Y, he also spends a lot of time downtown. Last week he sent this photo of a huge hole in the parking lot behind the new building going up at 100 Post Road East, next to the old Town Hall (now Spruce).

As a self-described “Touch-a-Truck kind of dad,” Scott has followed the construction of the building — the 1st new one downtown in 40 years — with interest. He says:

Like most job sites around town, they had to pound away for days through solid rock ledge to dig the foundation. I’m always amazed to see the guys working the machinery, how dexterous they are and how oblivious they seem to be to all that jarring noise. I’d last about two hours on the job.

So that’s why I was intrigued to see that in the parking lot just a few feet away, when they had to dig another hole through the pavement, there was 10 feet of garden-variety dirt with loose river rock, then another 10 or 12 feet of pure gray sand. It was very cool-looking, and a classic study in our curious local geology.

The sinkhole was filled in the next day or so; end of lesson. But it got me thinking about other places around town with big holes in the ground, or just filled in, or new plans to dig big. My son and I have ridden our bikes to the top part of Gault’s new development in Saugatuck – that’s a lot of rock! The Gaults have done such a nice job so far. I can’t wait to see how the next phase of the development goes.

And last week I attended the opening ceremony of Cliff’s Place, the new halfway house at Longshore. That modest little project turned out very well, and is just the first of some even bigger privately funded construction projects in the works that will serve a public purpose.

There’s the swanky new Levitt Pavilion, which just received town approval (and some public funding), and, of course our new Y, which will break ground in December. (I’m a member of the Golf Advisory Committee, and work at the Y – a partner/sponsor of some Levitt children’s performances — full disclosure!)

The brick buildings at Compo may get some work.

As “06880” well documents, and as’s “Teardown of the Day” shows us, virtually every day there are new (big) homes going up all over town. Combine that with some other projects in the planning stages downtown (the movie theater, the remaking of our own old Y) and what I hear may be an ambitious renovation of Compo Beach’s dilapidated brick buildings, all this work gives me a good feeling that we really are “rebuilding America” (at least our small part of it).

Think how many guys are working these days, or will be, on job sites locally. And once they pack up for other sites and leave the ribbon-cutting for those in shiny shoes and nice ties, think how our community will be the better for it.

I think we’re making good progress these days. Don’t you?

7 responses to “Big Holes To Fill

  1. Good news, if they are going to clean up the buildings at Compo!!! The lockers and bathrooms are awful and should be at the top of the list.

    • Westport Hysterical Society

      We must preserve those buildings in their current condition!

      I believe that when the British landed at Cedar Point in 1777, they used those same bathrooms before heading up to Danbury.

  2. FYI – I pee’d in the Compo Showers.

  3. Barbara Wanamaker

    Many of us have felt that Compo has been the orphan of the town for years. Neglect abounds. It is doubtful that the lockers have been swept more than once this season (if that). Debris from last summer is still present. Many lockers are badly damaged and have been that way for several years. Those that do not have locks (and haven’t been secured by Parks and Rec) have a disgusting array of trash inside. I have not seen an “attendant” in these buidings at all this season.

    Say Wrecker, you’re not the little kid who was aided by (what appears to be) his grandfather to pee directly into the sound, are you? Additionally, Pops stood by while the little guy joyously and without great aim tossed rocks at the water’s edge. Fortunately no one was hit, but it’s just a matter of time. Can anyone enforce anything down there?

  4. Don Willmott

    Who knows what they’ll find if they dig a deep foundation at the new Levitt. It used to be the town dump. Maybe they’ll unearth my old tricycle!

  5. The only way to clean the Compo Lockers, Pavilion, and Showers is to elect a Republican. Wake up, beach lovers ! ;-(