Comstock celebrates opening

The ribbon has been cut at the renovated Comstock Community Center, under construction since March 9, 2015. The final numbers aren’t in yet, but the project is expected to come in under its $10.8 million budget.

Many of the people behind the project — builders, designers, volunteers and officials — gathered together May 18 to celebrate the accomplishment at an open house in Comstock’s new multi-purpose room, which builders created out of two smaller classrooms during the renovation.

To the crowd that attended, “I call it Comstock Rejuvenated,” said Judy Zucker, who chaired the Comstock Building Committee. “This building is ready to serve a new generation — the next generation of Wilton residents, of all ages.”

“Today, we really have a beautiful and welcoming community center, unified in many aspects,” Zucker said.

Improvements to Comstock include newly installed HVAC unit ventilators, two new gas boilers, a new electrical system, building-wide sprinkler-based fire protection, an upgraded fire alarm system, new furniture and new lighting fixtures, ceilings and flooring.

For making or helping to make these improvements, Zucker had a lot of different people to thank. First she thanked her fellow building committee members.

“You have to know that this group of volunteers has been working diligently since their first meeting,” Zucker said. “That was June 10, 2013.”

“That’s a long time, and I think they’re all feeling very pleased and proud of the results of the work,” she said.

Zucker then thanked the various subcontractors who worked on the project, and their construction manager, Turner Construction.

“You all can appreciate perhaps from afar, but we on the building committee know that we just could not have done it without the Turner talent, and the people who came from Turner and served us were just beyond compare,” Zucker said.

She thanked employees whose offices are in the center and had to be displaced while construction was underway.

“I have to thank the staff of the Wilton Parks and Recreation Department and the staff of the Department of Social Services, because they put up with a lot of discombobulation and inconveniences, and they were wonderful partners throughout the whole project,” Zucker said.

When she’d paid her thanks, Zucker introduced Dick Dubow, a Wilton town selectman, to read a letter from former First Selectman Bill Brennan, who couldn’t make it to the open house because of an earlier scheduled travel commitment.

“Those of us who were involved in the project know that Bill was a strong advocate and supporter from the get-go all the way through, and I often think that without his support this would not have happened,” Zucker said.

“Renovation of the Comstock Community Center was one of my personal objectives,” Brennan said in the letter.

“With upgraded office facilities for two town departments, improved senior center facilities, creatively designed recreational and meeting room areas, plus substantial interior comfort and environmentally focused renovations, Comstock will broadly benefit the citizen users of this facility, who incidentally range from 4 to 94 years of age,” Brennan said.

In his letter Brennan thanked Zucker and the Comstock Building Committee, Mark Ketley and Bill Budigan of the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the staffs of the Parks and Rec Department and Social Services Department.

The final speaker was First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice, who expressly thanked Zucker herself.

“There are very few people who have given as much to this community as Judy has. Through the years, she has really served as a role model for all of us. I just hope that we all can be as energetic as she is, and I really appreciate the work you’ve done for the town,” Vanderslice said.