Y Project Earns State Honors

Building the “new” Westport Weston Family YMCA at the Mahackeno campus was an enormous undertaking.

Countless public hearings — and nearly 2 dozen lawsuits — delayed planning, groundbreaking and construction for years.

LANDTECH — the Westport-based civil engineering, site planning, project design, environmental and construction management firm — was there every step of the way. They worked with Robert A.M. Stern Architects and many others, completing the finished product — finally — in 2014.

Except it wasn’t finished. Phase 2 — 22,000 more square feet, including a gymnastics center and enhanced exercise, wellness and healthcare studios, along with a redesign and renovation of the adjacent Mahackeno  Outdoor Center — opened last year. Once again, there were challenges (like a global pandemic).

The Westport Weston Family YMCA’s Phase 2 project added a gymnastics center, and several studios.

But there were no lawsuits. The project came in under budget, and ahead of deadline.

Now the Y’s Phase 2 has been named Best Large Civic Project in the entire state.

The award comes from the Connecticut Building Congress, an association spanning every important trade group in the state.

“We worked with neighbors on the site plans and landscaping,” says LANDTECH principal (and Saugatuck native) Pete Romano. “There were no lawsuits at all. The process went very smoothly.”

LANDTECH’s role was broad. They collaborated with SLAM Architects and permitting groups like Conservation and Planning & Zoning, and closed out the project for a certificate of occupancy. Getting Mahackeno open last summer — when so many other camps were closed — was crucial for many youngsters and their families.

The Mahackeno Outdoor Center pool.

“It was a group effort at a trying time,” Romano notes. “Town Hall offices were not open. People were working from home. But in the end, everyone rowed in the same direction.”

The CBC award honors every group that had a hand in the Y’s Phase 2, from the excavators and pavers to the pool and plate glass folks. Turner Construction — the firm that built Phase 1 — was involved again too.

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