Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Riverfront Banquet/Boathouse Facility Design Study

Ariel photograph of riverfront. Boathouse/banquet facility
parcel outlined in red
Modified from the Department of Planning, Conservation, and Development Newsletter.

Mayor Daniel T. Drew is pleased to announce the beginning of process to design a new community boathouse and banquet facility on the Riverfront. The City had hired a team to experienced firms to help investigate the site and design a concept for the new rowing facility, Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC) and Tighe and Bond.

The banquet facility and boathouse was part of the report by Project for Public Spaces, submitted in January 2014. Their report, Placemaking on the Middletown Riverfront, included the following:
Scheme for a boathouse and banquet facility building
A space that could hold 300-400 people for a performance was suggested several times. We estimate that a space of about 6,000 sf on the second floor above the boat storage could serve that function. That way it would be above the floodplain and offer great views over the river. A terrace and stair could connect the space to a plaza below. It requires further study, but the expanded boathouse does not have to be one big building, it could be two buildings--a larger one with an event space upstairs and a smaller one exclusively for boat storage and rowing program activities upstairs, as we illustrate. This could help reduce the scale of the buildings and be more in keeping with the smaller buildings elsewhere on the riverfront. 

ARC and Tighe and Bond responded to an Request For Proposals in September, for architectural and environmental services.

Architectural Resources Cambridge, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a nationally recognized architectural, planning and interior design firm with over 40 years of experience. ARC has experience designing rowing facilities, include Princeton University's C. Bernard Shea Rowing Center, Boston University's DeWolfe Boathouse and Phillips Exeter Academy's William G. Saltonstall Boathouse.

Tighe and Bond is a 100 year old engineering firm with offices in our city, and has extensive expertise dealing with redevelopment of sites that have challenges with brownfields, wetlands and water resources, This study will depend on the input from the public. An online boathouse survey has been posted to collect preliminary public opinion on various aspects that are important to this process.

The online Boathouse Survey can be found HERE.

The public are also invited to participate in a public workshop on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 7pm in the Common Council Chambers.

A preliminary concept design will be presented by July 2016, with engineering and environmental investigation to be completed by December 2016.

The City received a $2.6 millions Urban Act Grant from the State of Connecticut to fund this study.

In kicking off this study the Mayor said, "This will be the first piece of the development of the Middletown waterfront and it will establish our community as a statewide and regional destination."


Anonymous said...

Good luck with trying to respond thoughtfully to that survey. Did someone actually get paid to write that survey or was it some school's class project?

Sue Martucci said...

Great news Mayor Drew! Middletown is so blessed to have such a lovely waterfront. Hoping the west side of RT 9 as one approaches from the north gets some refurbishing. In need of renovations/demolition. The Arrigoni Bridge is such a welcome sight on the east side of the highway. Will the historic Canoe Club remain? We love the CC and our tango crowd claims it as their favorite place to dance tango in CT. Patty and her crew are so wonderful to work with. Sue Martucci, Hartford Argentine Tango Society (www.hartstango.net) and founder/president CT Trees of Honor Memorial (www.cttreesofhonor.com)

Anonymous said...

So there's a Beer Garden in the middle of the youth areas? So people will drop their kids off in these areas, leave them unattended to go drink? Then of course, drive them home? Great.... Why isn't the beer garden by the restaurant?

BrianK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BrianK said...

In kicking off this study the Mayor said, "This will be the first piece of the development of the Middletown waterfront and it will establish our community as a statewide and regional destination."

Now if we can fund the schools without smoke and mirrors, we may be able to make our community statewide destination... in which to live and raise a family. Just sayin'

To be clear, before the haters start hating. I love the Riverfront idea, but not as a top priority.

laneybank@riverlover said...

The Connecticut River's great beauty sets the backdrop for Middletown's new boathouse. For many years the city has come up with different ideas to redevelop this beautiful setting and, for one reason or another, they have all failed to come to fruition. Now, we all have the opportunity to be part of a forward thinking vision. One year ago Project for Public Spaces summarized the ideas and requests from the voices of the people living in town. Let's keep moving forward with this project. Please fill out the survey and come to be heard at the March 1st Common Council meeting. This time let's see the "great bend in the river" be enhanced and enjoyed by all.