Y Devastation: An Update

According to the Westport Family Y blog:

Work continued today at the Family Y, as part of a multi-faceted effort to restore basic operations.

A tanker truck is onsite, serving as a “mega shop vac” to suction up water from the sub-basement areas of the facility. It is composed of 5 separate buildings — some dating to 1923 — and linked together by a labyrinth of passageways and stairwells below street level.

A heavy-duty generator arrived at 9:30 this morning, as Y staff and service partners attempt to resupply parts of the building with power. A priority is getting electricity restored at least to power the phone lines and reboot the servers that run the Y’s email system.

The childcare center sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Clean up of the lower-level Child Care Center continues, with much of the water-damaged school supplies to be discarded. Tasha Dennison, the Y’s senior director of Child Care and School Age Programs, toured her classrooms this morning in an effort to begin the process of taking inventory and reordering key material and furniture. All was not lost, but close to it.

No schedule has been set as of today for reopening parts of the building to Y members and the community. The process to “rebuild what matters” will require much effort on the part of Y employees and volunteers and our service partners and sub-contractors. We ask for your continued patience and prayers, and thank you for your support.

Water damage caused the Y gym floor to buckle.

6 responses to “Y Devastation: An Update

  1. Karma ?

  2. Nancy Powers Conklin

    Tasha needs to contact the parents of the children who attend the pre-school/childcare programs. Please do not leave them hanging with no information passed along to them. They need to make other arrangements for their children if the Y will be under renovation for more than a week!! Please, please contact the parents and let them know if you are arranging for temporary space in a nearby church in which to hold classes.

  3. Thanks, Dan, for posting this update about the Y’s situation. More information can be found on the Y’s website (westporty.org), including the news that the Wilton Y has made pool time available for our Water Rat swim team. We’re also providing updates on our Y Facebook page as well as the “Who, What, When — and Y” blog on westport-news.com.

    In response to Nancy’s comment, please be aware that we are trying to make progress with our plans to resume providing Child Care services. But being a licensed provider adds complexity to an already trying predicament. Here’s the latest news on that front, which we sent via Constant Contact email to some 7,000 Y members and supporters yesterday evening and posted on our website and Facebook:

    “…At the present time, we hope to procure a temporary license to provide Child Care services in the Bresslin and Bedford Rooms as soon as possible.

    We have contacted officials at the State of Connecticut and have an appointment for Monday with an inspector able to issue a temporary license. The Department of Health has let us know they place a high priority on helping us restore services to the community. If all goes well, we will receive a temporary license that same day.

    No schedule has been set as of Thursday evening for reopening parts of the building to Y Members and the community.”

    And also from that email, here’s additional information from Rob Reeves:

    “The Y’s basement is below the water table and the ground is so saturated with water that we have had a challenge not just getting the water out but keeping the water levels manageable to do our repair work,” said Family Y CEO Rob Reeves. “We’re having a third high-speed sump pump installed on Friday and as soon as the portable generator that arrived today is connected we’ll have a way to keep ahead of the water.”

    This afternoon [Thursday], CL&P removed the Family Y feed from the downtown grid. Once the other buildings on Main Street are ready they’ll turn the power back on, and the Family Y will remain offline until all required repairs are made. {Note: Power on Main Street resumed Thursday evening.]

    “Due to the age of our switch gear, we need to have each fuse and connector removed, refurbished, and replaced as we begin to restore power to parts of the building,” said Reeves. “We are also trying to bring the Y’s phone and email system (managed from servers at the Y) back online as soon as possible.”

    I hope this information helps. We’ll know more about our status after a series of meetings Friday with Y staff and volunteer leaders and the many sub-contractors and vendors who are helping us get through this.

    Again, thank you for your patience and understanding. And further gratitude to Dan for helping connect our rather frayed and frazzled community…