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Pouring it on: Foundation for new Family Y complex takes shape on schedule

Updated 4:46 pm, Tuesday, April 9, 2013

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  • Concrete was poured for the first time Friday into the foundation of the Westport Weston Family Y's complex under construction at its Mahackeno property in northwest Westport. Friday, April 5, 2013 Photo: Paul Schott / Westport News
    Concrete was poured for the first time Friday into the foundation of the Westport Weston Family Y's complex under construction at its Mahackeno property in northwest Westport. Friday, April 5, 2013 Photo: Paul Schott

 

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Two months after groundbreaking, construction of the Westport Weston Family Y's Mahackeno center is running on schedule, and Friday the first concrete was poured for the foundation.

Concrete footings must be cast before the building's walls can be erected. Those footings outline the footprint of the 54,000-square-foot complex. Approximately 100 cubic yards were to be poured Friday.

"It's as positive as it's ever been," Rob Reeves, the Y's chief executive officer, said Friday at the Mahackeno site. "It's going according to plan. There've been no delays, nothing unforeseen on the site that we were not expecting."

Since the Feb. 5 groundbreaking, the 32-acre Mahackeno campus has undergone extensive site-preparation work for the Y's new home. The footings sit 25 feet below the existing grade, with towering mounds of topsoil and gravel showing the major excavation that has already been carried out.

Dan Drake, senior project manager for Turner Construction Co., the Y's construction contractor, explained to Y officials Friday how the excavation has transformed the site.

"This soil has been exposed for the first time in tens of thousands of years, which means that it is at its theoretical maximum compaction," he said, pointing to the topography below the foundation. "It is as compact as the earth can make it, which makes it a solid foundation for our building."

"Virtually all" of the excavated material is being processed and re-used, according to Drake.

"All these materials are being segregated and screened for re-use either as fill under the slab on grade that's structural backfill, topsoil and sand, which is used for bedding piping," Drake added. "The Y is saving a lot of money by re-using this on-site material."

To facilitate that process, two tracts of state land next to the Merritt Parkway have been leased to store 6,300 cubic yards of topsoil until it is used next year for landscaping at Mahackeno.

The Family Y complex will include a 10-lane lap pool and adjacent warm-water teaching/family pool, a multi-purpose gymnasium, wellness center and fitness studios.

It is scheduled to have a "soft" opening in September 2014, allowing the Y to meet its November 2014 deadline to vacate its current downtown headquarters at 59 Post Road East, according to Reeves.

The Y has raised $12.1 million of its $15 million capital-campaign target for the Mahackeno complex. That total includes a pair of $1 million donations last month from the Linda and Vince McMahon Foundation and an anonymous donor.

pschott@bcnnew.com; 203-255-4561, ext. 118; twitter.com/paulschott