Additions to the historic Fairfield County Hunt Club building cleared the first hurdle toward approval Tuesday night with the town's Architectural Review Board.

"I think they sensitively added to the existing structure," said Chairman George Masumian. "I think overall it's a very nice addition to the building."

Architect Jay Valade of Mark Finlay Associates presented plans and renderings for the additions, which are designed to maintain the characteristics of the 1923 structure that stands on Long Lots Road.

The equestrian center is seeking approval to add a grille room, which will feature a bar and dining area, covering about 1,460 square feet. Also planned is a covered porch totaling about 1,370 square feet, with a blue stone floor, as well as minor renovations at the entranceway.

"It's a sensitive growth of the building and it's compatible with the original structure," said board member Ward French, whose family has belonged to the club for 25 years.

"It's very appropriate -- minimal, low-key," he added.

The only question brought up by the board involved the proposed square columns as they would relate to those currently there.

"It was a minor issue about it in an otherwise well-received project," said member David Mann.

Mann, who co-chairs the Green Task Force for Westport, also suggested that, as the siding is going to be redone, the designers look at the building "from a sustainability aspect" in order to promote "a forward-looking sustainability practice."

Carla Nelson, general manager of the hunt club, was pleased with the meeting. "I think they embraced it after a while," she said.

"Hopefully, if everything goes right, we should be starting at the end of June 2013," she said.

Valade said his firm does many similar additions to old structures.

"We do it all the time," he said. "We do a lot of club work ... Depending on the club membership, we do additions that are extremely sensitive to the old building."