Thursday, May 30, 2024

Shakespeare Property Task Force Part II


October 4th Part II

Task Force Panel: Mayor Laura Hoydick; John Casey, Town Engineer; Jim Benson, Chair of the Economic Development Committee; Mary Dean, Director Economic Development; Chris Tymniak, Chief Administrative Officer; Tom Dillon; George Perham, Principal, President at VIA Visionary Interiors Architecture

Note: Developers had prepared visual information, which was not visible to audience

Team # 2: DTC Inc.

Shay Atler I’m with DTC Inc., I’m a third generation engineer and I’m here to be the overall principal.

Bob Hamersley, Vice President at DTC, Inc. I’m in charge of the public Outreach component of the of the project acting primarily as a liaison between the town and the design team. I have over 30 years of experience working with and within government on various levels federal, state. I also am very familiar with the authorization the allocation and the allotment of State funding and I will help Stratford with agencies like the ECD, OPM or the legislature.
Acoustics Peter Scandone, President – Systems Engineer with PASCOM Inc. whose expertise is in developing engineered sound solutions tailored for architecturally complex spaces, which frequently feature reflective and reverberant acoustics.

These spaces, cherished for their historical and artistic significance, seldom permit the use of conventional acoustic treatments. PASCOM’s innovative strategy redefines the auditory experience by adapting advanced electroacoustic technologies to architecture while blending seamlessly with interior aesthetics.

Bill McMullen, Project Manager:

• We worked with Town staff going through what the basics were for this project.
• The town engineer sent me information that we requested at that time, we were able to take a lot of that and put it together into some sort of a format where we had a program, and that program was based on phases: infrastructure, food court, the what we call the Band Shell or I call the Hat shell actually and then
• Finally the black box theater and the amenities that go along with that based on my background working with Architects such as Hugh Stubin The Architects Collaborative.
• A number of other things so my part of this is the magic part now we’ve gathered a lot of information from town staff we’re also looking to get more information from the local community because this is an ongoing thing that evolves it’s not something that’s just set in stone.
• Making it actually come together and become a real project one of the things that we look at are the parameters and one of the big parameters you have right now is your budget.
• Whatever we do, what’s been presented in the past what’s been presented now what’s going forward, has got to be within the budget constraints that you have set up and so that’s going to be what the primary focus is going to be from my hand and getting it built.

Tom Tavella, landscape architect with Tavella Design Group,”a lot of work has already gone into the program, and it is pretty much set. We know the budget, but how can we be more creative? Can we use the National Endowment of the Arts to trigger some more money for you guys? Can we use some of the Wetland funding that’s out there? right now Bill Kenny (Certified Professional Wetland Scientist, a Soil Scientist, Registered Landscape Architect and a Certified Organic Land Care Professional from William Kenny Associates) and I are working on several projects in Connecticut that are receiving lots of money for wetland restoration and things like that so some of that stuff can come into play, but the key is to get that $6 million into the ground as fast as we can for you. It’s a great site, and there’s so many amenities to it, and we just need to make sure it’s flexible, so if you’re there with your kid on an afternoon you don’t feel lost but also there’s enough room so when there’s a performance it can be used as well so I think those are the kind of key things.

Bill Kenny the principal of William Kenny Associates in Fairfield has tremendous amount of experience working in coastal resource, Coastal permitting, resiliency design. “Right now we’re working on some jobs in New Haven and Bridgeport I’m partnering with Tom’s firm on those and so excited to be involved with this and looking for opportunities to take the project and make it not just a great place for the public to use but also wildlife and so have the best of both worlds.
Matthew Holley, architect of record, and Steve Freelander, together represent the architectural and the performance and theater aspects of what’s going to be executed. “as part of this job we got involved with the team, a lot of the discussion has been about process, so things like the staging the phasing of it what needs to happen first from a business standpoint, what needs to happen first from an execution standpoint, and really for us what we see is that there’s a beginning where there’s an infrastructure that needs to get put in,

A lot of that infrastructure doesn’t really become part of the touch and feel of the final result, nevertheless these are things that are important cost things that need to get addressed up front and they get addressed in the master plan, and the master plan is very easy to say it’s all Topography is this so you try and minimize it as much as you can but really it’s a convergence of program in terms of what the community is looking for with the real realities of what the site has, so that you’re really putting most of your investment into the end result and not trying to force things programmatically into a site because you didn’t really go through that due diligence up front.
From our standpoint, the team has been very clear all along that we have to solve the site first, and that goes to the infrastructure and everything else that goes with it, it goes with the environmental, and part of that is cost, part of it is opportunity these for some of the other program elements that I think can come into this.

The infrastructure from the beginning to the end that’s key because when you’re going to put that exclamation point at the end of this whole program you want to be able to have the dollars there and not just initial investment but even operational you want to be able to make sure you got those dollars right so you can finish strong and you can put that exclamation point at the end of the sentence to take off of what you just said so one thing you may have in this packet, you can’t really read it, because it’s very small but the way we programed the dollars was really Upfront for the infrastructure piece so we thought the getting the infrastructure

Note: DTC designed the initial concept for the park, the firm has not yet been awarded a contract to work on the project. In their meeting with the task force, company officials said they would aim to secure additional funding for the construction by applying for grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts. The DTC plan can be viewed by going to:

To view the actual meeting go to:

0:09 / 3:10:14
Shakespeare Property Task Force Oct 4, 2023

Town of Stratford
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Shakespeare Property Task Force Oct 4, 2023
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so just some housekeeping things when you speak into the mic you should turn it off after you’re finished speaking
Mary Tom because what’ll happen is too many of them will go on at once and then
nobody will hear anything yeah red light and we’re going to record this so it can
be put on the website so anybody who’s interested can see what’s happening
it’s on
so we’re going to begin because we’re already it’s 402 and I don’t want to short you any time at all since you have
a half an hour um I’m Laura hoic I’m the mayor of the town of straford very happy to have you here uh this is exciting to
be moving this project forward um and I’m going to pass it on to everybody
else to introd but I guess I’ll start over here since John is here John Casey the town
engineer Jim bedson I chair the economic uh Community Development Council here in
straford Mary Dean economic and Community Development director for the town of
statford Chris timc the chief administrative officer for the town of
statford I’m Tom Dylan I uh was on the last um Shakespeare committee and and I
was a co-chair of the committee that um you know held a series of community uh
forums directly after the fire and last but certainly certainly
not least this is George Pam he is the chair of our regional development agency he’s also an architect and George do you
want to talk about yourself yeah sorry for being late uh mayor Park we got a hold of me uh George
pram uh I’m a president of V visionary interor architecture and um also as as
uh mayor alluded to the chair of the um RDA committee and I’ve also been on the complete streets committee and along
with the subcommittee for the Shakespeare feasibility study that we had done uh prior to this and other
projects in town so thank you for coming great thank you we’ll uh we’ll introduce ourselves um but we’ll start
with with Eddie here uh good afternoon everybody it’s a joy to be here my name
is iddie Marshall uh principal with uh Stimson Studio Stimson Studio has
offices in both Cambridge and Princeton Mass uh we have a total of about uh 14
designer 40 designers we just celebrated our 30th anniversary of which have been
there for 28 years and we have it’s a practice that has specialized in both
private Gardens and institutional work and also it’s a practice that also has a
a nursery associated with it so there is a really a broad base of information and
uh exploration that the firm does when it comes down to how do we understand a landscape how do we design a landscape
how do you maintain a landscape thanks Eddie I’m Tony Foreman
I’m one of the principles and co-founder of nextstage design out of New Haven uh but we’re located in various places now
um we’re almost 10 years old as a firm but both my partner Jee lierman and I have been practicing this for decades um
I won’t tell you how many but many and we design performance spaces that work
they work for audiences they work for the performers they work for the crew and they work for the owner um all of
which could be different entities um so whether it’s an indoor space or an outdoor space we know how they work
we’ve probably worked at a lot of them ourselves and we have a team of other
Performing Arts professionals that have been doing this for their career careers some of them still are doing their
careers and this work as theater planners um so we’re delighted to be on
the Centerbrook team yep I’m I’m Justin Hedy uh principal at Centerbrook Architects uh
it’s a firm of around 65 in growing uh we’re about 45 minutes away and we do
all types of architecture projects from museums to Performance spaces to uh
Independent Schools so it’s a wide mix um but let’s get to it because we have 30 minutes um what we’d like to do today
is just talk um the study that we received was very exciting uh We’ve
we’ve dug in and looked at the existing conditions just to get our head into this very exciting project so we’ll talk a little bit about what’s happening
current you’re all familiar with the past the tragedy that happened in 2019
but there’s new beginnings and um also we’ve we’ve developed some options to look at so we’ll go quickly through them
and uh leave some some time for questions hopefully um so Eddie if you
could hold that up the the study done the feasibility St done with the
blackbox and the outdoor Amphitheater was exciting can you guys see that this
is really just an existing map but it’s really you know as we’ve all walked the site um it is a fantastic site and Eddie
will get into that being the landscape architect um but some things you’ll notice are the wetlands here and here
and what you didn’t notice in that in the site plan that you shared with us is the ample parking that’s already on the
site we think that’s that’s something you’re going to need you know with the existing Theater which was around 1500
seats if you have a Amphitheater of similar size it’s outdoor yes but you’re at least going to have 1500 and you have
that with the Shakespeare Festival which you see the activities these are really exciting I think these are things that
are happening post fire that the town really loves that’s just my assumption it sounds like there’s a lot of
excitement about around the the market the the small performances um but one
thing to note there’s a flood zone here so your ae13 your
ae10 um maybe here you’re out of the flood zone but you want to be at least
building any structure in a13 in case there is an event of a hurricane which
is a possibility so that that line runs from along here and anything kind of
east of that is in the zone um um the blackbox theater Eddie will talk about
that um as well as Tony um it’s exciting we need to know a lot more about your
needs the size of it the uses um so that we can better understand uh the location
the size and um so we’ll look into those things um but let’s move on to you want
to touch on a few
things thank you just wanted to touch based on some of the things that are going on on the site currently uh this
was my first visit to the site in all honesty but what’s interesting about uh
what we’re seeing here in the program it’s very there’s a lot of parallels between uh this project and the uh the
uh mil River uh Park project in Stamford in terms of uh wanting to have a park
that’s vital to the community wanting to have a theater component wanting to have
a flex ible space knowing that we we’re not sure what we want to do in the
future uh but we want to have it active we want to have this as a drawing card for the entire Community to come in and
see this so when uh when I look at the site today obviously there’s uh
fantastic views over to the river and then off to the sound uh interesting
kind of topography in that middle lawn what’s uh just looking at how things
work spatially this is the approximate lawn size that we have designed uh have
that that we have designed in Stamford so there’s there’s some interesting kind of parallels going on and also being
mindful of kind of the Practical things of what we need uh need to have to have the the park function things like
parking that uh has been mentioned things like the restrooms things like how do you do ticketing how do you kind
of really make it functional you know it’s it’s it’s great to think about what are some of the uh the the uh locations
of the theater but then we want to also drill down in making sure that we
understand how you want this really to function when a performance happens where does the gas come in where does
the equipment come in so there’s a we we want to be mindful of both front of house and back of house and uh Tony do
you have anything you’d like to add to that in terms of well you already touched on front of house and back of house obviously very important depending
on what kind of performances you want you have AR who need to come and go you have technicians you have equipment that
comes and goes how does that interact on a Saturday with your farmers market or your Shakespeare Market that’s going on
at the same time so we we need to look at that flow restrooms are critical uh
concessions food trucks all of that you know builds into the experience of the
attendee uh of your citizens who are coming to this park this beautiful Park
and it’s a wow when you walk in or or Drive-In and it should be a wow in their
minds all the way till when they leave and hopefully long afterwards as a great memory um so we look at things like
what’s the orientation of the stage we don’t want the sun blinding the audience or the performances in a late afternoon
show we are you going to do noontime shows so we we’d look at that um and
then in terms of an indoor space uh as Justin mentioned there’s so many things
that we want to know about what your expectations are and then we can help you design a space that really functions
and it can be indoor it can be indoor outdoor you can have a deck there are all kinds of possibilities um but we
also need to know what’s your operating plan you know who’s who’s going to staff this uh is it all volunteer which is can
be fine if it’s or is there a staff whatever whatever the situation is will give you the right building that works
for you before we talk about work workshops
and how we’re going to engage you in phase one of the project I just want to show Tony mentioned it uh that one slide
there at Mitchell College what what I’m showing you here at the bottom is the black box that’s
the current design but it’s not what’s appropriate for you what are the uses
what’s appropriate for the site at Mitchell College we there was a historic Barn there and we’re using that Barn for
for performances for events and it it fits within the site it fits within the program it fits within the town um it
could be a modern black box but it could be a glazed um something that’s a little
more vernacular so that has a little more vernacular so that’s something that we’re going to want to touch in in the
first if you look in the book I’m not sure what
page that’s very flexible but it’s also a lot of maintenance it needs a lot of backup house attention it’s not
something you may want to leave you know a community group on a weekend to to enter and mess with the
controls um so one thing I want to touch on is the workshop so as we as we engage
you in the first you’ll notice that I don’t if you saw it in the the booklet um but we host workshops not too a
little more engaging in this a lot more engaging where we all come together and we figure out the needs and Eddie led
the workshop or one of the workshops M river which is a project that we both collaborated on um when that’s where we
understood the exact needs of the park so once you understand those then you start the next phase of the design phase
and I know you’ve done some leg work but we feel that it’s it’s important to get everything done in the detail uh and
engage every community group before you start yeah to uh really continue the workshop
discussion uh at at mil River we had a series of four workshops where we actually met every month for for
September October November December and what was interesting is uh it was often
times the same crew of people who showed up but there’s a series of of activities
that we engage in that gets everybody involved and what you’re seeing uh here
on that image we we started out with kind of an understanding of site and then we walked the site so everybody
could comment on what are they seeing what I’m seeing something that you can provide uh
to the design team in terms of insight in terms of things things that you like and from there there’s also exercises
where there was a uh a full a very large map of the entire site put on the floor
people get down on their hands and knees and they map out how they use the park and so this is this is uh an aspect of
Engagement where everybody who comes to the workshop is part of the workshop
everybody gets contribute and from that we developed uh a series of schematic
designs that was then brought back to uh the same uh group I think that was
either the October or or November meeting and then we also had a session where we had uh we we call it the kid
aparts where uh everybody had a parking lot they had a stage and we had plans we
broke up into groups everybody did their own design so and and from that we did
another kind of extraction of what was important where the consensus was what
and they wanted things like a dog park they wanted to make sure that uh the uh the uh lighting and safety was important
so through these exercises everybody feels invested everybody feels like this
isn’t Stimson design it’s not the center book design it’s our design and so these
are we find it fundamental in terms of getting that buy in but this is this is
actually our design it it is not mine and so through these exercises and this
is kind of another image of that uh where we would meet and how people would
start to kind of go through these spaces but it really becomes um this
this team building exercise and then by the time we met in December we had a
final presentation of of both uh the the
the the plan some phasing aspect of it but then we were able to go through and
make sure that all the programmatic needs were also covered so it was we
felt that it was a thorough process but we were as excited about everybody’s
input everybody was really excited at at the end of course it was right right at the holiday so everybody was kind of
ready to take a vacation and things like that um and do you want to add because you guys have also a critical part of
kind of the the workshops just think the the architecture there it spays out and I think one one thing we noticed with
the the box is that there the outdoor space is not engaging it it it doesn’t
make space for people along the exterior if you look at the Mill River Project it spays open to create spaces on the
outside and one thing to add to Eddie’s uh comments there was nety Compton she
she loves her as she says that her dog park people because they’re very engaging they visit the park through all
times of the day which really promotes safety I’m not saying a dog park is is on the but incorporating all types of
uses improves safety for this park if it’s happening just at one time someone
is there at night and alone there’s an element of uh of not safety
so yeah this okay uh I’m going to try and bring this plane closer to everybody
in a way that we can see it so uh first thoughts on the entire site we we think
of the entire site as really theater it isn’t just one area it’s one corner
think of the entire uh property as a way of kind of uh en engaging that uh that
that Spirit of of theater and when you first come in uh at the uh blackbox
theater this is the uh uh current building even if that were to uh pull uh
to the north just slightly then you have the opportunity to have a a courtyard in
front of it how space would start to spill out so we want to think about what
are these uh smaller interstitial spaces and really give them value don’t just
gloss over them but these are really important this is where people meet especially you know this you know I have
tickets let’s meet right in front of the theater we have this great Courtyard there or there’s a way to meet cast so
think of all of these different things that we can do on the site that really starts to en engage everyone who comes
here uh and and and also so they come back uh and uh next thoughts is when you
come down the driveway is there a way of uh pulling back some of that pavement so
certainly when I drove in here today it felt dominated by the vehicles how do we
flip that around so it feels like it’s dominated by the pedestrians there’s some function things that we had touched
on earlier so in this plan you have a driveway that comes back that would be for that support vehicles and cast we
place the theater here and I know this is just an early sketch but it does give us an opportunity to think about what’s
the best orientation size scale but at the same time we want to make sure that
whatever we’re placing we can service it it makes sense there’s a safety component I know at uh at the project in
Stanford we had to make sure that we had a 20ft drive lane because if there is a
major event and an ambulance has to get there then we want to be able to get that ambulance in and get that person
out so again it’s it’s that front of house back of house and there’s there’s a constant kind of thinking of that and
so in this option we were looking at can we take away that other part of that Loop Drive open that up so the the the
uh Park in the landscape is more contiguous I know there is uh
programmatically thinking about a play area but would we want to actually splay that out so it isn’t just one area maybe
it can be threaded through the park and through those trees you have some beautiful Groves up in here but I was
excited about uh actually this is what I was excited about I had never been here before and I just looking at and said it
seemed like it would be wonderful to have a walk along this edge of the property so you’re always engaging in
the view of the honic and so uh there was something some things that are change on this after this afternoon but
for right now I like the idea of how do we kind of really engage this Edge have
a place where you can really walk around the entire site you can have smaller areas where you can have
uh outdoor exercises for writings of plays or readings of plays I think the
when we think of performance I think the the uh ability to have a a landscape in
a park that engages perform performance uh is it 2500 people or five people is
it a is it a small um classroom group that comes down and they have a spot
here where it’s kind of a raised platform where they have a view but maybe it’s it’s a great place for us a
uh small performance so when I think of how do we start to engage this site it’s how do we thread through what’s existing
and then uh the whole idea of the market or the food trucks they don’t necessarily have to be in a parking lot
and I know in Stanford we actually put them along a longer drive so there’s this constantly interweaving of both
Park and you know you you run over to the food truck maybe get a taco and then you can go over here and see the
performance so how do we make sure that uh how this park is used if it’s uh a
Holiday Market or it’s a food truck or a farmers market that there’s always this
engagement with both we are on the site and then how do we look at making the
most out of this um uh Grove of trees also be mindful of the Wetland here I
would there so there’s that paved Road and I drove down that to the dead end and what I would do is probably keep
that because the the the in terms of thinking about the vegetation with with the uh Wetland and the the importance of
wetlands especially in an era of climate change and sustainability I mean we do
want to make sure that people are aware of what this landscape is doing and how
do we have water come in and in a major storm how does it leave but there’s we
have the opportunity to engage in a series of different landscape typologies between the open field and Meadow
between that Woodland Grove between the Wetland so w within the context of this site which is 14 acres is that about
right so within about 14 acres we actually really want to tap into all of
these and we want to tap into it in terms of how people come back and this is not the same park that we were in six
months ago climate’s changed you know the leaves are starting to change and so
we really want to have this engaging as as a resource for every day as well as
kind of those major performances and just I know if you want to add any to any of that I how we doing on time I I
don’t want to run over okay okay
um yeah we don’t have enough time for all my questions but um okay I’ll give you
one you can probably answer so um I’m delighted to hear sorry I got a little
bit of call that uh your understanding of the sensitivity of the site and also your engagement of all the beautiful
things about that site so and it sounds like you’ve already started thinking about you know starting with a clean piece of paper and uh not
accepting what we’ve given you um when you talk about the community involvement as you know we’ve spent a lot of time um
of all of us on this table doing exactly that so that might be diminished a little bit but to me I think what ends
up driving the ultimate design are going to be the restraints in the parking circulation so from there do you end up
um kind of reversing the uh the effort of the program and say to us look this
is how many people you can fit in the black box and this is how many people you can fit in the Ampitheater because
of all this other stuff and here’s how it relates to the site and and uh adors the site so can you explain a little bit
about you know that process and um um you know where we’re giving you information versus you have to give us
the information yeah I’d like uh Tony to address ofr sure so the the constraints
obviously are there and you know them better than we do so we have to learn that and I’m sure there’re very good reasons for decisions and drawings and
all of that so we need to get up to speed on that absolutely and but once we
know what the constraints are um that’s where our creativity can plug in and and
I think we’ve got a lot of it between the three of us and our teams um you
know for an outdoor performance the capacity is a little more flexible than it is when you put it inside a building
um what’s you know how many people are going to drive there how many people are going to walk we’ll look at all of that
um and determine you know I think that’s part of what the workshops are about is
susing that all out hearing from you all hearing from other members of the community who attend the workshops um to
get that sort of Baseline information and so we can identify the constraints
and then work among them I should just preface that one of
the constraints that we have is we have $6 million that was in The Proposal that
was you know very very public um so that’s what we have to work with which is why the phasing is as it is it’s
infrastructure it’s Paving it’s parking lot it’s lighting it’s um the food court
piece was underground so it wouldn’t be noisy when we had a lot of um activity
so those are some of the things I just want to that you don’t know that I want to share with you as you’re answering
George’s question no absolutely and and that’s where you’re looking at you know I
think I’m not a cost estimator but that black box might well exceed that and and
so um but it sounds like you’ve done a lot of leg work on the workshops and if
we can access that information we can skip some steps and dig down to more of the programmatic information that Tony’s
talking about we don’t want to open up we know how hard workshops are we don’t want to open up Pandora’s Box and but we
do want to understand each and every aspect of the
site um hi Jim Benson again uh if you were to start with um you start with the
design and then you determine what infrastructure is required is is that the process like you need to know
exactly where each each building is going to be even though we’re entering this sounds like in a flexible way if
our first phase involves utilities and infrastructure do you need to lock down
the design before you then deal with that part of the
project I I wouldn’t necessarily kind of need to we wouldn’t need to log one
thing in versus the other I think we can obviously look at both sides of what uh
the site design becomes where different theater components can be and at the same time be mindful of the uh uh you
know the different utilities that are required uh probably one of the major ones would be for the restrooms and so I
think it is something that uh as we go through that design process we are kind
of exploring both sides of it in terms of uh making sure that is by by placing
XYZ component here is that will will will that be an issue with the wetlands or will that be an issue with one of the
other uh you know components of the site so I would I would think that it’s not
necessarily a uh either or but we want to be uh understanding uh what are the
opportunities and constraints on the site as as we are looking at uh you know the you know the placement of uh the uh
programmatic components of the park did does that answer your question
or does it yeah okay uh you know I don’t have terribly specific questions so I will reserve the
time for everybody else I just I do appreciate many of the comments I was listening carefully and a lot of the
things that uh I felt were important you reflected without a question so thank you
okay oh sorry go ahead I know Chris has an important question so I just wanted
to ask you have very impressive group of sub Consultants here have you all work
together numerous times with the same group that’s been disc discussed in
this okay well I you know I mentioned that we were we’ve been practicing for 30 years I think for 20 years we’ve
probably been working with the folks at Centerbrook so it’s we actually have a
long history okay thank you how are you thank you for coming
tonight uh and thank you for talking about the mil River Project in Stanford I’m definitely going to look into that okay um how do you go about breaking
down your um compensation is it done through through aloc cart Services is it
done through the total cost of the project how do you formulate your compensation we would start with an
overall cost of the project and then start to break it down into different phases through uh schematic design and
and then and then the different design phases so we would you know uh I think
the um uh understanding of what the cost of construction would be taking a
percentage of that and then breaking it down okay and then obviously part of that is uh number of meetings level of
Engagement uh so it becomes much more of a fine-tuned exercise than that I don’t
know if you want to add add to that Justin oh I’m sure it gets more fine-tuned yeah so in terms of um you
know how do we work together as a team I think in in our proposal everything
would be kind of mapped out so no would want to have meetings what the schedule would be when we want to meet uh and and
what happens at each meeting so we want to make sure that although we map it out
like it’s a linear process for the fact that it’s it’s a design process we
sometimes go back and say okay we were looking at this we’ve discovered that we want to make sure that we have to
fine-tune this aspect of the site so I would think in terms of compensation uh our proposal and working
with the design team here uh does break it down so you want
understand when and how the money is spent and obviously the totals as well
okay thank you how would you be managing the
project as as one firm the lead on uh actually
uh Justin’s office would lead but it’s funny we’ve worked so much together that
kind of the lead part of it really starts to blur if you will but if you if you I guess contractually we are working
for Centerbrook if you know yeah yeah and
you you have staff available for the project oh yes
yeah so yes yes we’re the lead we’re the lead
staff but the same project manager that worked on mil River Mark Herder would also participate in this project as the
project manager so it’s a great resource Centerbrook is 65 uh we’ve been around for 50 years um and we have a system of
checklists to make sure that the documents and the project go smoothly um I will say for in terms of the
compensation your question um we still don’t know the size of this blackbox
theater so there’s an early phase where we’re still figuring things out and then once we determine the size and the
components we can then assign kind of a catalog of of does Centerbrook have the
bandwidth to to take this on If This Were to be a a tight timeline saying you know one year two years you know I’m
just coming off of uh $180 million ELP body project uh it was probably one of
the more complicated projects in Connecticut and um that one unlike other firms who share the responsibility
Centerbrook took that project on entirely um so this is a fantastic project all be it smaller than that and
we can certainly take it on no dinosaurs there’s no din well there might might be if we start to
investigate the landscape but I thank you for your time and your
presentation and um may I ask a question yes um can we make sure that
all the people that come uh get a copy of the reports that we produced do they have that information the actual reports
all the people that come what do you mean like the five firms that are coming today have they seen the output work of
the Shakespeare committees that we did uh yes we can provide that to them thank you we haven’t seen it but yeah it’d be
great to see it’s online so we just didn’t direct you to it thank you very much for your time
appreciate it excellent presentation thank you everyone thank
so next up is Diversified Shay
see using
this sh you’ll need to use the microphone because we’re recording this
so oh yeah we’ll wait for
so not all of you were here when we introduced ourselves but I welcome you to Stratford or Bill in your case again
to statford Rob it’s nice to see you um and we’ll go around the table and introduce ourselves John casy the town
engineer uh George peram uh chair of the RDA here in straford and also a president of via Visionary Interiors
architecture Laura hoic mayor of the town stord Jim bensson I chair of the
economic community and Development Council here in straford uh Tom Dylan I’m uh just a
resident who’s served on the last two Shakespeare committees and I run the market that’s currently happening at the
theater site he’s not just but Mary Dean
economic development director for the town of statford Chris timak chief
administrative officer okay great very good so this is Shay atler I’m with DT and this is our
team we have a of folks with it so I want to say first of all congratulations getting this far I’ve uh been doing this
for 33 years with government and I’ve uh seldom seen an an organization Community come together like you have in this
project so I want to say congratulations getting this far so and uh we’re happy to be there with you for that process
and in doing that we assembled a team of not just professionals and U organizations but these are friends
we’ve worked with for 30 years each I mean we’re talking about with each other uh I’ve been to weddings of four these
guys in this book we pray here we work together constantly so um we go back a long way and not just people who are
professionals but they’re the best in their fields so we’re talking about L architecture and site of enties Tom
develop was president of the National Association L Architects we talk about you know people who do things like
Acoustics Peter scandone is who they call the arch dases and he someone to do churches and and uh
synagogues Freelander and when the Beatles need uh um Acoustics for the Cy
show they call him and we’re talking to the experts in their field we all work together so we’re all friends and we’re here for you and We Came as principles
we talked about our proposal that we’re here as principles not just staff meaning everything we do we stand behind as as owners and we take it very
responsibly and uh so we want to talk about who we have here today I’m Shay engineer third generation engineer and
I’m here to be the overall principal and we got Bob uh hammersley who’s be here for government relations and Community
Affairs then we have um Matt Hy who’s the architect of record and Bill MCM a
Pro manager you know bill from the first process Tom Della who’s the landc architect and in charge of the uh the
site amenities as well and then we have Bill Ken who’s doing the wetlands and the wet wildlife and so forth in the
project and then we have a number of other Specialists doing the engineering as well as my internal staff doing the
facilities for regards to mefp structural and civil as well so the whole team sitting right here in one
Corral and with that I’m going to hand this off to Bob hary to talk about the project and again thank you again for the opportunity my RO also Al is the
estimator uh the estimate you put together you saw that was my estimate I do the detail estimate on everything I do so in the scheduling as well so I’ll
be there all the way through the project for estimating and making sure that this team stays in line with the money that you got from allocated from the ecd as
well as your as your own pocket so B yeah so good good afternoon my name is
Bob hamersley um I’m in charge of sort of the public Outreach component of the of the project acting primarily as a
liaison between the town and the design team that sits out in the the bullpen here um I have over 30 years of
experience working for with and within government um on various levels federal
state and uh not local right now um I I also um am am very familiar with the the
authorization the allocation and the allotment of State funding and I can I’m I’m happy to assist the town of
Stratford with achieving that um working with agencies like the ecd or OPM or the
legislature to to help help you all out um and to bring that experience I know that there’s a couple people here who
have some of that experience as well but I hope that I can complement that I don’t matter as much as the team that’s
going to talk right now those are the people that really are going to be the the boots on the ground for you and I’ll pass it over to Bill McMullen the
project manager on the project to sort of quarterback this from here on
in thank you uh and thank you for having me back um we spent some time with uh uh
Town staff uh going through what the basics were for for this project um the
town engineer was great to uh send me information and we requested at that time we were able to take a lot of that
and put it together into some sort of a format where we had a program and that
program was based on phases infrastructure um food court uh the what
we call the Band Shell or I call the Hat shell actually and then finally the uh blackbox theater um and the amenities
that go along with that my my background was working with Architects such as Hugh
stubin The Architects collaborative Sir Jackson for a number of years and then for 20 years I was the facilities um
Capital project architectural capital projects coordinator for the City of New Haven so I worked on a lot of Municipal
projects from uh day one until they were were completed uh one of which just
opened last year and was a culmination of 14 years of of work uh which is a
community center which also hous the public library and uh outdoor um
athletic facilities a number of other things so my part of this is the magic
part now we’ve gathered a lot of information from town staff uh we’re also looking to get more information
from uh the local community because this is an ongoing thing that evolves it’s not something that’s just set in stone
um everybody has ideas um nobody’s going to be happy with the end result and everybody will be happy with the end
result which is usually how it works um so taking those things and working with all of these um better word Geniuses
that that know what they’re doing and their their U professional um U
performances and what and what they do making it actually come together and become a real project and one of the
things that we look at are the uh the parameters and one of the big param ERS have right now is your budget so
whatever we do what’s been presented in the past what’s been presented now what’s going forward has got to be
within the budget constraints that you have set up and so that’s going to be what the uh the primary focus is going
to be from from my hand and getting it built um yes thanks uh Tom Tavella
landscape architect with Tavella Design Group some of you might have recognize me I worked out the the complete streets
project Pro here plus other projects um we’re really excited to be on the team a
lot of work has already gone into it the program is pretty much set we know the budget set um but how can we be more
creative uh can we use the National Endowment of the Arts to trigger some more money for you guys can we use some
of the Wetland funding that’s out there right now Bill Kenny and I are working on several projects in Connecticut that
are receiving lots of money for wetland restoration and things like that so some
of that stuff can come into play but the key is to get that $6 million into the ground as fast as we can for you um it’s
a great site uh there’s so many amenities to it um and the program we just need to make sure it’s flexible so
if you’re there with your kid on an afternoon you don’t feel lost but also there’s enough room so when there’s a
performance um it can be used as well so I think those are the kind of key things I want to keep this really short because
I know you’re on really tight time Bill do you want to say anything about the wetlands and or anything like that um
and then we’ll turn um Bill Kenny the principal of William Kenny Associates right in
Fairfield tremendous amount of experience that we have working in coastal resource Coastal permitting
resiliency design right now we’re working on some jobs in New Haven and Bridgeport I’m partnering with Tom’s
firm on those and uh so excited to be involved with this and looking for
opportunities to take the project and make it not just a great place for the public to use but also wildlife and so
have the best of both
worlds thanks hi my name is Matthew Holley I’m
a founding sorry I’m a founding principal of margal Sal architecture uh
we’re also here with Steve Freelander from apparo design and together we
represent like the architectural and the and the performance and the theater aspects of what’s going to be executed
as part of this job we got involved with the team you know a lot of the discussion has been about process right
so things like the the staging the phasing of it what needs to happen first
from a business standpoint what needs to happen first from an execution standpoint and really for us what we see
is that there there’s a beginning where there’s an infrastructure that needs to get put in okay and as much as a lot of
that infrastructure doesn’t really become part of the touch and feel of the final result nevertheless these are
things that are important cost things that need to get addressed up front and they get addressed in the master
plan okay and the master plan is very easy to say it’s all Topography is this so are there cut fil you try and
minimize it as much as you can but really it’s a it’s a convergence of
program in terms of what the community is looking for with the real realities of what the site has so that you’re
really putting most of your investment into the end result and not trying to force things programmatically into a
site because you didn’t really go through that du due diligence up front so you know from our standpoint the team
has been very clear all along that we have to solve the site first so and that goes to the
infrastructure and everything else that goes with it it goes with the environmental and and and part of that
is cost part of it is opportunity these for some of the other program elements that I think can come into this
right so after that first step when we get into solving the infrastructure in
conjunction with that also is the idea that we have to find what the users are that are going to Comm in to this site
okay are they part of the people of Stratford is it part of uh some non
for-profit entities that are going to come in and then run programs run you know run the let’s say the entertainment
part of this because what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it is really what’s going to drive a lot of
what happens to the buildings and the and the structures that we’re going to build right and I think the key is that
you know and this comes from Shay like we have to get it right okay because if we get it right uh and as somebody said
everybody in the community is going to like it nobody in the community is going to like it but at the end of the day it’ll be a successful operation where
it’s vibrant you’re bringing people into this site uh and and and there’s a a
community participation where everybody feels that there’s an ownership stake that they all have so now with regards
to the performance side uh Steve and I we our two firms have worked together
over many years uh pretty much from our Inception back in 2006 where we’ve
worked on multiple different types of projects uh you know here in the US abroad uh our our some of our initial
work was actually the the the really I guess you call like the cultural center
of dohaqatar we did the buildings uh Steve’s FM did all of the Acoustics and the performance
aspects of of the design and you know and I think some of the things about program and making sure
you get it right uh goes back to those days right like we were talking before about seaing counts and how maybe we got
those right maybe they didn’t get it right in the beginning so so when we looked at it there’s really three
components right so we have the outdoor venue okay which is really an outdoor space where you’re going to have the
flow of what happens in the community with some kind of a canopy or closure to be able to accommodate outdoor events we
have the existing building which I think we were talking about and the Adaptive reuse of what that building is and all
the Nostalgia that goes with that um and then I think the last piece is uh this
this theater this this you know whether it’s black box or or or white box or
whatever we want to call it right and in that theater uh you know as you go more
and more into this the the cost commitments s start to go up right and the theater itself and then a closed
theater to get that right right is probably one of the more important things and it’s something that really happens on the back end right so we
could see in the phasing of this it’s like when the money is going to be the tightest is also when you’re looking to
program out what’s probably one of the more expensive components of and that’s why understanding this from
the infrastructure from the beginning to the end that’s key because when you’re going to put that exclamation point at
the end of this whole program you want to be able to have the dollars there and not just initial investment but even
operational you want to be able to make sure you got those dollars right so you can finish strong and you can put that exclamation point at the end of the
sentence to take off of what you just said so um one thing you may have in this uh packet you can’t really read it
because it’s very small but the way we programed the dollars was really Upfront for the infrastructure piece so we thought the getting the infrastructure
right first to take care of subsequent phases was very important so everything from the the storm water management to
the Sewer utilities electrical all is very important for phases 2 three and four so this why you see phase one being
very critical in terms of getting it right getting the permits correct getting the uh the offsets and the setbacks getting utility companies
involved here early on to make sure we get support so we can have a good infrastructure for the rest of the phases going on so that’s why you see a
lot of the money programmed in in those phases so uh phase one takes care of a lot of the infrastructure for phases two
three and four too so we did it that way on purpose so we can have something ready to go to in the event that money
does hit you the right time you’re ready to go and your shovel ready and speaking of being shovel ready uh we’ve already
taken the opportunity of taking these drawings that we have and put them in Revit so this whole model we put
together is already in Revit right now we’ve already done Revit is a is a three-dimensional tool by Autodesk that
does design what Architects Engineers design in so basically it it’s a it’s a working model that we have that we can
play with and modify and create the vision that you all want with it so know it takes sometimes to you know weeks or
or months even to create good rev model we’ve got it done already so we already hit the ground running right now because
we’ve already done it because uh we want to invest that time in doing it so we’ve already taken opportunity you can see
some some ideas we we put together for example you know we took the model and just we’re playing with ideas and
textures and colors and and so forth again nothing here set in stone because basically it’s your vision that we’re going to execute so the good news is we
have the infrastructure to get it done so we can hit the ground running when you say we want it this way we can play with things and work with your people
because obviously you’ve got professionals like George who’s an architect who knows how this this this business Works get some good leadership
involved and yourselves well you you’re very tuned to how infrastructure Works having run a community like you do um so
we do have the the tools ready to go uh we have the budgets in terms of how they’re allocated and what the space are
going to look like but uh really we’re going to take a lot of lead from the community because we’re really looking
as a community based uh asset to utilize how you want to utilize it so and they
may morph over time but that’s really something you’re going to give us a lead on that’s what bill is going to be here to capture and kind of drive the rest of
our team so uh I’m not sure I oh uh Wetlands also we do have a Wetlands issue and a pond on site to those aren’t
obstacles those are assets in my opinion those are opportunities to look at at ways utilize it incorporate that into
the infrastructure of this is it a teaching opportunity can we have you know biology classrooms coming and
science classrooms com to learn how ecosystems work can we signage on the site to look at how you know these
things operate and in situ can we make this whole thing a learning opportunity for kids the community you know from the
design process to the um you know to the construction process on past projects we’ve Incorporated school systems that
have physics classes com design beams to show how a beam works and actually you
know learn how that works with physics have physics classes coming in and learn so this could be a great you know little uh um uh let’s say experiment for for
schools as well to get them incorporated into this project so I think it’s very exciting you’ve got a great site um and
you know that so and you’ve invested it and I really appreciate the opportunity to be here so um Bob anybody else want
to add anything so at this point and thank you again for the opportunity and thanks for letting us to be here and uh
again we’ll uh answer any questions you
have well you thank you very much thanks for covering a lot of stuff I mean one of my big things and I asked the previous firm
was about um uh cost and how you go about doing uh compensation for your
firm and everybody else who works um I mean you provided the budget for that so
um that’s close to answer if you want to add anything to that sh sure the the the cost you so as programmatic in nature uh
certainly the way AE firms do it will typically do both a top down which is kind of a percentage of and a bottom up
perspective based on man hours labor hours so we do it both ways we want to make sure we capture labor hours
required and not overdo it we also incorporate the unforeseen such as like we may need traffic studies we may need
a Geotech consultant those are things we have to add on as uh as direct costs and we try to allocate those as best we
could in the budget here as you sit down and really hone it on your program I assume we’re going to you look at what
you have as the top end of it you know I don’t view that as being a goal to go get I think that’s where you you go from
there down in my opinion I put enough budget in there um to give you guys some room to operate in so I don’t ever see
that as a goal for me to go get that’s that was done for your benefit not for ours U what you have here is principles
which means that we basically that’s we work for free basically because we work until the job’s done so we’re the lowest
labor hour you’re able to see so you won’t see staff on these jobs you’ll see us on them and that means it’s going to
cost you more it’s going to cost you less in a lot of ways so uh we all work uh till the job gets done that’s it and
we made that commit together we said if we’re going to do this job guys we’re doing it together okay that means you I don’t want to see your staff I want to see you guys in this job and I don’t
care what it’s going to cost us but they get the benefit for that and they all agreed that because this is important to
them I’ll just ask one quick question so of everyone that’s in this team the team
in front of us who was involved in the original um
proposal okay just curious okay thank you
you uh the packet you handed out today uh there’s pictures in there I can’t get
myself oriented and they look much different than what was initially presented so the one that was uh
presented was the one that looks like this that’s the one what is this oh those are those are just things we were playing with as using the Revit model so
we’re just playing with ideas so that those weren’t meant to be anything but uh if we had a presentation we’re going
to talk through it so we didn’t get a chance to do that we just put them in a package so there’s you I’m just trying
to make sure I understand the information that you’ve handed out am I suppos to look at that and understand
that that’s the design you’re headed to or is this just there’s Visions there’s ideas’s no okay so you’re not really
proposing specific you just made these drawings for us to look at we’re we’re looking at ideas looking how to we were
trying to encourage a thought among ourselves we just put things on paper U really the vision comes from yall is how
you want to look at it so we’re just playing with things I would leave cost questions to George but I don’t don’t
understand the budgets either uh to to uh reiterate on your
question you recall when we did the original uh presentation I said there were like three different levels that we
looked at one which was a very expensive kind of pie in the sky one that was a
middle and one that was on the low end and we looked at the middle uh one as
the one to go with and those were the the drawings were based on on that particular model some of the things that
you see in here are some of the other ideas that we kicked around before we came to that and they’ve just been added
in here we thought we were going to have you know the ability to make another presentation similar to one we had
before with media and I but that’s why that’s in that’s why that’s in
there yeah that wasn’t meant to be any kind of formal design it was more of a thought process we’re going through
sorry about that is is the timeline for the
infrastructure piece of this once we figure out exactly what it is we’re going to do you figure that is that
you’re showing that is about six months is that right probably for the design process correct just for the design
process there’s a timeline in here that talks about design versus construction and I’m not sure if it’s readable here
but we did talk about that on uh that blue sheet where we’re going to if we
get activated or whoever you hire get activated we we saw there being about a six month time frame to get into working
drawings at the same time you’ll be procuring a CM or a GC of some sort we’re not sure how you’re going to go
and bid this if you’re going to do it through a CM process or L GC we we don’t know that yet so uh we you know our best
guess we took a look at the gross schedules the total program coming out
with everything done in 2008 but intermediate wise we thought the infrastructure piece for design wise is
just six months probably we start now we’re done probably mid mid year next
year and then you go to bid or you go to cm
so my question is is sort of complicated only because the my big concern is the budget you know that site is really
complex as you know there’s a lot of wetlands um infrastructure is probably
um nonexistent to what used to be there for Shakespeare so my concerned is your
budget um allocation I’m not sure there’s enough facts at this point in time to to do a budget that you know the
mayor can rely on because once she you know goes to press so to speak you know we’re kind of stuck with this so I’ve
got a concern that we might be going down um a little bit of a slippery slide um with that budget so we and I I didn’t
have time to read the entire thing but what do you have if anything for contingency and what do you think um
could be components that could either send this you know uh more north than what it already is and along with that
as part of that conversation does that infrastructure cost include the ideas or the um
understanding of the other phases or is it just strictly for the blackbox and
what’s required for that because with that our restrooms and you know so you got sanitarian soil and storm control
and all this other stuff and I’m just a little nervous that um we don’t have enough money in the in the project to um
to get where we need to get to at this point in time it’s a very valid question because obviously you would know how I went went through the process so me work
with the process so um the first tab would be the infrastructure piece that the talk infrastructure site work and we talk
about excavation I assumed I think we did the math on it there’s 12 acres roughly of those 12 acres six acres are
largely unusable between wetlands and setbacks and the pond you got six maybe usable acres and of that you got a house
on it so with that we put an allocation towards uh gross grading and we have some import export money there we got
rock we don’t know is Rock for sure but we allocate Rock we didn’t do a Geotech test yet we also allocated money in
there for asphalt concrete pavers we’ve allocated money for uh site Furniture
infrastructure for landscape features water features storm water infrastructure signage Gates fencing uh
sight lighting and then you go to the next one which regards to the uh actual uh the food truck area there’s even more
in there for um for infrastructure and on the ash Pavilion you see a big number
in there for footings of foundation George because we assume we’re going to have to have some kind of of deep footing to hold down a stage or a
Bandshell for uplift and so forth so we’ve allocated a fair amount of money in those areas and also for electrical
because we’re going to need a lot of electrical conduit coming in to service this whole area not just the lighting but also any power requirements uh for
the food truck areas and lighting as well as for the staging performance areas you need sufficient power for
lighting rigging and and and the amplifiers and then so we try to put it
in the front area first so we can make sure that the whole flight was ready for subsequent areas so when we look at it
the first area is going to be the kind of thing that John Casey might like because it’s mostly flat and unseen
unloved because it’s going to be hidden from fight but it’s I think my opinion it’s very important that’s there and
also from the standpoint of of fundability um the state likes to fund infrastructure more than facilities it’s
just better money to get frankly it was part of a strategy to go get money from places where they like to fund
infrastructure because there’s more Avenues to go get infrastructure money U from Deep P do and other people to get
that kind of money so that was uh so the process now if you go to the bottom line there there’s a subtotal on that George
and then beneath that there’s a 10% contingency for design you know uh abilities mean you want to change things
and there’s 10% for construction you add that and on top of that you get Gen Con for General conditions you get
Insurance’s bonds and so forth you get a hard dollar total of in that green area of 2 point some OD million dollars and
then from there you get the add-ons for a uh traffic geotechnical so forth and
then you go down there and you get a final total on top of that so you you hard dollar cost hard dollar cost plus
the overheads on that plus you have soft costs on top of that you have a grand total and that’s done by per section so
there is obviously there’s large numbers in there I assume the numbers are going to migrate between cell to cell
depending upon what we find out there we go and do our digging so if we go in there and start doing some Geotech
testing find out there you know a lot of loose soil we got to do piles that does change things and we don’t know what’s
down there yet you may know better than I do but U if you got to go down deep with deep files it’s going to really change the number so that’ll move things
forward and we’ll have to deal with that as it comes but to the best for a ability what we know we did the math a
little bit and this is not just a a swag this is actually based on sun of Science and because I gotta live with it
eventually and I’m not put in front of the mayor and and be you know chastised for it later on because if I if it’s
here I believe in it I believe in this I just have a follow-up question I’ve
asked a couple times on the first one and this one and I’m looking at a specific type of building with specific
features and specific location and then I’m told it’s just raw ideas and I just
don’t understand how you get from just a raw idea to a budget that comes down to
a dollar I just don’t understand that the whole project here the bud based on your estimates and I don’t understand
how you came up with those numbers because you’re saying that you don’t don’t have anything things specific Behind These actual drawings what I said
the budget was based upon the do document I gave you yeah the other things you’re are not what I gave you it’s like a black box there’s no feature
spec there’s no seat count how do you how do you get to a budget like that so
if you look at the the the last well you can’t see here but you make a basis on
the size of the building and in this case we took an estimate based upon the
features the level of finish might be for example this wouldn’t be say um a a
storage building level of finish it would be more than that but it wouldn’t be say a a full scale R&D facility either with
a lot of Fume hoods and things like that there is a little bit of professional that goes into looking at these things
we talk as Architects Engineers we know there’s certain square foot ranges that occur for certain types of facilities
that’s what occurs here now if you want to go and say I want to have every laboratory be a certain level that does
change things you know it can go up or down if you want to do you know certain finishes instead of going VCT you wanted
to go uh say marble and and stone that changes things for sure you’re right those are all changes that we can’t
foresee right now the best re abilties we took the program we gave you took off on that and created you know an estimate
which I think is very real realistic in this budget and we have elements in there for escalation as well as as uh U
changes and uh deviation so it’s all in here as well so we use 3%
escalation may not be enough in your mind but we use that the best for Ability thank you sh
John U just wanted to clarify you know who’s who’s here and Steve could I just
wasn’t sure what company you were witho hero
design one of the are is there is because we got potential bleed of of sound in the neighborhoods so the reason
why acoustic engine here here because we want to make sure we’re sensitive to the fact that if you have a performance or
PA systems there that we control it so doesn’t go too far outside the boundary of of the perimeter of the area knowing
that there may be some but we’re going to do our best to mitigate it and certain as Mr scandone said earlier the
first thing we want to do is make sure we got our permits in there early on to make sure we we make space for that in terms of the Acoustics piece so I know
you have 70 DBS as your limit there to the town so you you got a town
limit there so we we’re aware of it we’ve been researching your what your area looks like and what the areas um
you got traffic issues what your sensed that as well access erress uh maintenance things on site how you going
to do that those are all you know policy issues we going to work with you on who’s using it is it dog friendly
smoking no smok all these things are decisions way down the road but we had to take them account right now at the beginning so we’ve already thought about
these things but half an hour is not really enough time to talk about it but uh you get a sense who we are I we want
to be here hope you want to see here too and we want to thank you again so uh just follow yeah did is there your staff
up to work on this project and the schedule that you’ve presented correct fishing staff for all the
elements than sir Ju Just a real quick Chris there
there’s a fee in here a guesstimate fee at this time so I don’t know if you saw that but they actually has his fees in
here yeah I know I know I think that might think that might have done the budget
really small for reason sh I’m going to ask you to send us the the electronic version of this so we can distribute it
amongst everyone yeah that would be great no problem so I send through Chris Chris okay yeah no problem so thank you
all for being here today we are um very impressed about your depth of knowledge and your experience and as you can see
Tom complete streets is happening so that was that was a process that took
well over two years to get it all going so um and and I was the only guy invited to his wedding by the way oh yeah mayor
har murdered and said hey Shay what are you doing tomorrow noon I go I don’t know I show up and goes he’s getting married I have to hold the ring and everything
so well thank you all for being here today we appreciate
it so next up is
for thank you for coming today and for for
uh submitting your proposal I’m Laura hoic I’m the mayor of Stratford and we’ll introduce ourselves and then you can introduce
yourselves hi I’m John casy the town engineer uh George peram cheer of the uh
reg Regional Development Association here in statford as well as a principal of via Visionary interor architect
you’re in no hi Jim Benson I chair of the economic and Community Development commission
here in stra I’m Tom Dylan I’m a resident I was on the last two Shakespeare committees and
I run the market that’s happening at the property now hi I’m Mary Dean I’m the economic
development director for the town of straford hi Chris timak chief administrative officer for the town
great thank you very much for having us we really
appreciate I think what we’ll do is do just a a short introduction and then uh
come back can we’ll do something a little bit a little bit more expanded um I’m Mark Leo principal with gwwo
Architects I’m Kate Scurlock with gwwo Architects hi everybody I’m Scott
Crossfield I’m director of design for theater projects and I’m Bob Goldie principal of
towers Goldie Landscape Architects in New Haven thanks yes uh Kate will be the
project manager working on the project um thank you so much for inviting us to
participate this project really is at the intersection of what we do um we do
cultural projects that involve Parks theaters interpretation and historic
preservation and when we were thinking and talking and uh sort of rubbing
elbows today about this project it really um came to the Forefront of my mind this is what we do we live and
breathe this project and we are so very exced excited to be a part of it gwwo uh
started in 1990 um with some contracts with the National Park Service and we’ve been
working with the Park Service ever since so 30 plus years uh giving us a vast
amount of experience working in the Parks realm and we’ve parlayed that into other Park settings uh local Municipal
Parks um parks around the nation uh and so this is one component of that the
park side and for sure over my career and gwwo span lifespan uh We’ve have a
rich portfolio of work in the Performing Arts music amphitheaters theaters
blackbox theaters so this is this is right in our wheelhouse and in our sweet
spot um I personally at gwwo exclusively work on Parks and theater projects so
I’ll be bringing you know 30 almost 30 I know I don’t look that old but my hair
might be L me um bring about 30 years of experience in those uh components to the
project certainly more recently we’ve been working more and more um in uh
coastal areas uh certainly flooding and Rising waters are are an issue that we
know about um and that’s something that we’ve been dealing with in a variety of different ways on different projects so
with that I’m going to turn it over to Kate for a little bit more sure I’m gonna have to step step
around you I think um like Mark said I’m um going to act as project manager uh on the project for gwwo um I’m a senior
associate at gwo I’ve been there for um 12 years maybe longer now um but my role
as project manager will be to make sure we I manage the process my direct uh your direct point of contact dayto day
and I’m going to be managing our team of Consultants so um as Mark said this is this is right in our wheelhouse it’s our
it’s what we love to do um and we’ve also put together a team uh of experts
that really um also plays into that support um role so we have not with us
today I will let them um introduce themselves too but we also have um CES uh for mechanical electrical Plumbing
engineering Langan for civil um engineering Michael Horton for structural um cost
um cost oh my gosh I’m blanking on their name cost control Solutions and uh jaffy
hold in for um Acoustics um so together with that whole team we really bring a breath of experience to the table and
we’re really excited to talk to you uh about that today I stood in the right place for the
microphone right right here in the center so once again I’m Scott Crossfield I’m director of design for theater projects this is my 25th year
designing performing art centers and my it’s it’s absolutely I think my hair is going to start bulying me too so and
40th year working in and around the Arts in that time I’ve probably consulted on about 700 theaters around the country
many of them amphitheaters ton of black boxes I actually have one that I want to talk with you about today that’s currently
going into construction Lafayette Louisiana um in Heyman park right down by the river with all of the same issues
that you’re talking about um we are a team of 36 people um in the United
States uh we have an office in lower um Time Square on 40th we have an office in
South Norwalk uh I’m personally a resident of new new Canan and I’m a Connecticut native I grew up in the
Northwest in Winstead so I cut my teeth on theater here in the state of Connecticut and I’m really happy to be
back um so we’ll be supported across the board from our South Norwalk office and
then we also have a strategy and operations team to help with strategizing about the management and
the operations of the venues and helping you think about Staffing and financial modeling for the park should that be
needed or desired and that’ll be supported out of New
York so I’m not even going to go into any detail on how old how many years I have but my my hair tells the story um
Towers Goldie is uh kind of a unique landscape architectural firm in the
state of Connecticut in that we solely collaborate with
Architects um and what we bring to the table is a sort of a unique approach of
really developing a sense sense of place and I think that’s really what we want to do here is create a park create a
place that’s unique unique for Stratford and unique for Connecticut and it would
be our role as Landscape Architects to work with the whole architectural team in developing coming up with unique
Solutions we know you have you know obviously we know you have a site and we
know there are constraints on that site our job is to develop and uncover the
opportunities for that site um I we’re going to get into the details on what we
think some of those are but in short that’s what we would bring to the
table thank you very much um so what we thought we would do is
really look at uh some of the hot button so we’ve been rolling up our sleeves
back in the office thinking about projects that we’ve done that have uh either a similarity or might have
aspects to come to Bear here um we’ve certainly been looking at the site plan
both the the plan that was done as part of the RF uh you know the proposal RFQ
uh as well as looking at the site plan as it is right now and we have some
thoughts and we have some hot buttons that I’m sure you’ve been thinking about um and really they
I think start with the planning process um and um how the community is engaged
um certainly there’s a lot of historic memory on that site with the historic
building that isn’t there anymore um not sure how much uh is invested in the
white house that’s at the corner um that’d be interesting to hear um I believe there’s probably administrative
offices in there now but I’m not sure there it’s empty right now or yeah it’s
used rarely rarely but it has been renovated so um I think I’ll probably
turn it over to Kate to talk a little bit about the planning process and how we engage the community and you um to
really understand what’s what’s going on and and coming to consensus sure so as Mark mentioned um
we work across the country in various different um cultural institutions and Park settings and often times we are not
often in every project we’re um working with that unique community and um with
each unique Community becomes a unique solution to how we want to engage with that um group of people so we have um
done any number of different approaches and we would work with you to figure out what um what that is no one size fits
all with um engaging with the community so we have done any number of things from surveys to websites to inperson um
sh threats and information sessions to much more formal presentations and that
would be part of the process to figure out what is the right level of Engagement um how and how to make sure
that we get those groups um involved and how do we um engage them throughout the process so that it’s not um kind of
feeling mysterious so Kate could I interrupt you for just a second please may I um so we’ve done a lot of this
already so if there’s already a base level how would you go from there right we would would first learn all about
what you’ve already done and then you know read through that information if it’s um you know survey information
you’ve gathered meetings you’ve had we would kind of do our um homework if you will on researching that and then figure
out with you what what would be the next step is it setting up a series of meetings is there a working group that you have that represents different
organizations that would want to be involved or or you want to have involved in the process and then we would we
would really fine tune it to that it could be um as little or as much as as
is needed in terms of process right now I don’t think we know enough about what you have or haven’t already done I know there’s a history of of um information
that you’ve been working on for years right so we would we would learn all that and then craft it towards that and
then along with that I think a lot of times there’s a lot of misconceptions over what the project actually is and
sometimes really our role is just making sure that’s really clear about what is part of this project how it’s phased
what isn’t part of the project because sometimes um when there’s misinformation about what’s included or what’s not
that’s where that’s where challenges arise and so part of that is the programming phase and I know you guys
have already done some of that but as we get into it we find that to be a very important role in the early really early
on being able to Benchmark against um our breath of experience and other you
know similar type facilities so we can really rightsize what um what needs to
happen from a building programming standpoint and I’ll let um Scott talk a little bit about that from a uh
absolutely absolutely so I mean this is kind of what we run into on almost all of our projects where there’s a lot of
excellent work that’s come ahead and one of the first thing we need to do is understand hear it from you and then
sometimes push back right understand right really test and compare to other projects that we have then work with you
with refining the program right what are the spaces that are going to go in and go out test the premise and what we call
right sizing so we have an extensive uh library of projects that we can actually
illustrate the different ways to do um to build the spaces that you’re looking to build right and which ones are more
expensive less expensive larger smaller why you would do some a certain way why you would do some a certain a different
way and then we would also hopefully grab our strategy and operations team and have them talk about Okay now what’s
that mean in terms of Staffing down the road for you and what’s that mean in terms of you know uh FTE full-time staff
what about part-time staff what about volunteers how would you manage um we
have a team that actually works with programming performing art centers so helps bringing content in so one of the
things we would want to do is pull them in for a session and talk about all the opportunities look at other venues in
the area which ones are compatible which ones actually are competitive and how
that might affect you in the market in terms of the product that you may want to bring in and then look at okay based
on the product you might want to bring in the type of shows the type of events what’s the best use of your dollars and
the best mix of architecture to achieve that goal so if that’s
clear so on on our end on the site planning end uh obviously the first
thing that we would want to get into is uh really fully developed master plan
for the site because you know we we understand that 100% of this you’re
probably not going to be able to do in your first phase so an understanding of what what what the site can hold in
terms of your aspirations testing for capacity uh it before we get into any
detail about exactly where buildings are located what size they are I think an
overall site detailed site master plan is is really critical and testing that
against budgets in other words it doesn’t really make sense to go full
boore down on develop finishing a site plan if you don’t if you don’t know how
much of that plan can you can afford at this time so phasing of that site master
plan is is crucial so when we develop that overall
master plan you know I mentioned the the idea of the aspirational idea of a sense of
place developing a unique place that’s sort of one Avenue that we would be
heading in at the same time we’d want to look at some very very practical nuts
and bolts issues like for instance
parking um you have an aspiration to put some significantly sized facilities on
here where are we going to put all the parking is the parking going to be remote if it’s remote how is that going
to function if it’s going to be on site that’s definitely going to affect how we
can uh Implement how we can uh allocate uh the the different Park areas
and it’ll obviously impact on this sense of place so looking at both the
aspirational aspects of this unique place at the same time as we’re looking at the very nuts and bolts issues uh of
the site and what the carrying capacity is is where we would start uh with with
the rest of the the design team yeah thank you um you know it’s as
we were rolling up our sleeves today looking at this in in Greater detail uh we were waiting for Scott to arrive he
comes in and looks at the plan and says huh the Sun is going to be right in the performer’s eyes so we have some
interesting thoughts not interesting we have some very pointed thoughts about the the plan that was done we’re in a
vacuum we don’t know what was done how by who whatever but we do have some thoughts specifically about the pieces
that we see and can respond to the blackbox theater we saw in the news article that I think
the intent is a 500 seat blackbox theater that is not a 500 seat blackbox
theater just looking at the square footage um we have some ideas about potentially how the site could be laid
out in perhaps an honorific way to the old theater that isn’t there anymore we
would love to hear from you if those ideas are in fact valid do we want to
honor the building that was there maybe some people don’t want to H honor it so those are some of the discussion points
but I think if you could talk a little bit about um the plan related to um the
pav the pieces The Pavilion and then I really like that Auburn project if you could talk about that a little bit so
there are actually there are two projects that I would love to discuss so the first is the one I referenced earlier it’s in Lafayette Louisiana in a
park called Hyman Park Hyman Park during segregation it was the historically African-American Park and in fact during
segregation you were not allow to go to other parks that those days are over and they brought us in to basically make
this park something fantastic celebrate its history give it a brand new Bandshell and then uh basically modify
the park so that it could hold two to three th000 people for uh outdoor
concerts there are two artists in particular from the community that they wanted to make sure it would accommodate
so one is Mark brousard if you know Mark’s Work and the other is Cupid and you by now Cupid but your kids know the
Cupid Shuffle so we had to make sure that their tours could come off the road and serve their Community where they
grew up and where they’ve performed it’s um hman Park is along the river there
are flooding issues and we had to look at the annual 100e 500e floods and we actually did multiple sightings on that
one where we sized the stage based on the shows that’ be coming in in the aspirations of the community laid out
the audience and then basically moved it around the park so it could be out of the flood zone access to loading people
can get in from the parking and it reminded me exactly of this project because that project has a $3 million
budget and I believe this was 3.1 for that portion of the total project so
extremely similar and so for me some of the initial thoughts if you don’t mind right so if we look at the existing or
we look at the site plan and where it’s currently located right there’s a couple things right we rotated your plans so
this is now North Sun sets in the west if you have a pavilion even with a cover
that will work during most of the day but eventually that sun will be setting and ring the artist’s eyes normally when
we design an Amphitheater it’s north south whether the artist is facing north or the artist is facing south sun rises
in the East so in those early morning uh educational activities school productions maybe there’s yoga in the
park things like that where you may be using the stage as part of it whether there’s a teacher or someone up on it
right the sun is rising to your side not in your eyes and it’s setting to your side not in your eyes so that’s one of
the things we would want to study excuse me and As We Lay that out often times it’s going to be a 90 to 100 uh 20
degree angle cone uh for Sight lines and then we can actually populate it whether
people are going to sit down on blankets whether you’re going to have chairs whether we’re going to have some of a Hardscape or landscape and we can
actually do multiple sizes rotating around the site and really educate you on multiple options the benefits and the
detractions from those different options and so that was one of the first things that I was thinking this morning was I
really want to get in there and start planning right because that’s what I do and think about what is the right size for that Pavilion and then look at some
of the orientations which allow right now what I love the audience has a beautiful view of the water right so how
do you protect that while also making sure that it does its jobs it needs to do so that was one of the first things
we thought about the second thing we thought about is parking and Par parking
for potentially concurrent items so if you’ve got the Pavilion and you’ve got
an event there and you’ve got a blackbox theater of say 500 550 that’s what we’ve read in the post where would you park
all those people especially if there are concurrent events right and right now we’re not seeing enough parking so that’s something we’d have to think
about I have an Amphitheater that’s um in design right now outside of Atlanta It’s about a thousand seats with a
beautiful view of a wetland like and you can see the hills Beyond probably a 30 40 mile View
phenomenal but because it’s built into the side of a hill there’s nowhere to park near it so we actually had to do a
study for remote parking and busing right and we’re just happy to do that type of study versus walking times but
that’s another thing and then concurrent with that is loading right and regardless of the size of the production
there’s going to need to be some kind of loading even if it’s Community use there’s going to be audio video some
lighting you name it so just thinking through some of that and then there was a note actually maybe now as a good time
to chat about it there was you no I think in one of the agenda about could you combine the blackbox and the
Pavilion or an Amphitheater outside and I actually think that’s a really compelling idea for the site and the
reason I think it’s a compelling idea is because it gives you a couple things it allows you potentially to combine the
budgets for the two projects which might help fund them and make them more robust potentially we have one that it was a
two-phase project in Auburn Alabama phase one was basically as part as an
attachment to a Performing Art Center it was effectively a blackbox the intention was one wall would open and then it
would perform as an Amphitheater stage phase one they couldn’t afford that opening partition and a few other things
so it has basically served since preco as that and artist like Jason isbel and
you name it and Laney and a bunch of others that you know a lot of the kids who attend Auburn University they they
go see shows there all the time up to 3,500 people it absolutely works there are considerations you know the rigging
has to extend out to serve as an ampli Amphitheater you have to be able to close it in a way that doesn’t block
rigging and lighting there’s some technicalities but I think that might be really interesting as we look at the
site planning because what that would allow us to do is to think about those
two become one from a budget point of view from a parking point of view from a technical and Staffing point of view from an equipment point of view it would
certainly be a good study along with the other studies I talked about where we would look at them as discrete pieces
and see how they best function on the site it’s great do you have anything
to um what about the we were talking earlier today about the park component
and how that might be able to kind of stitch everything together I didn’t know if you had any thoughts about experiences on those types of programs
or could talk a little bit about how it relates to Mark I also want to make sure we’re and Bob were’re conscious of time so
just you probably have 10 minutes just very quickly uh one of the
things we try to do is to create uh something that a unique theme a landscape theme and weave that through
the entire parcel the entire park so one of the things we’ been look we would be
looking at is what kind of a unique element can we have here what can we insert that really ties together not
only uh the two main facilities the the two theaters the outdoor and and the
black box but also links the other parts of the park itself um the plan the
original plan had a what was labeled as a park which presumably is more of a an
active play area um I don’t know that that’s still into programming but it’s
something that we would obviously need to to factor in but in short we’ want some kind of a distinctive unique
element landscape element that to all of these different areas of the park
together great yeah thanks what’s that um yeah I just U wanted to mention one
other thing we have uh because of the depth of experience that we have on these types of projects there’s a great
opportunity for benchmarking so we’ve we do this all the time you guys probably do as well bringing smaller groups of
people you know the steering committee or whoever it is um two different
projects you know and we have a lot of projects that are very local so we have the benefit of being you know maybe an
hours driver a couple hours driver whatever we can see firsthand some of the impacts and for sure benchmarking
via you know clicking through a PowerPoint this is what we did here this is you know can you imagine this on your
site is um you know as we were preparing for this presentation the idea was that
we would be doing some of that benchmarking already by looking at projects so there’s a great opportunity
to do that and we would love to engage with you um to take that next step um
yes unless there is anything else we’ll open it up to
Q&A thank you who’s from Maryland I’m from Maryland well I’m from windsock
Connecticut but you live in Maryland so we wouldn’t get to see you as much we would see Kate and Bob I’m telling you
Scott when I found out yes I was here very soon after uh we we knew we were
presenting good good thank you the asella comes right up no problem it does we’ve taken it yes we have it’s very
fast it might be faster and Kate and um Matt are up in West Hartford okay great
thank you so John do you want to start off with questions how would you be managing the
uh project is there a lead consultant or IDE how you know I know Kate’s going to
be PM but if you could describe the process sure um we gwo will manage the
team um of Consultants so um our entire team would be um coming through me as
the project manager I’ll be the main point of contact for um you as a team and then as we would get into it we
would Define um you know what level of service you want from each individual um
consultant and sort of really fine-tune that you know I could see that um Scott and his team might be really heavily
involved during the early stages and then um you know be side by side with us and and other Consultants might not pick
up some of their work until we get a little bit further into it so um but all of that will funnel through um me as the
main point of contact and and our gwo team and and we’ll work kind of seamlessly with with our
Consultants just just go ahead I do yeah and staff wise are you staffed up um in
Connecticut for yes with the exception of Mark and we have obviously a full
team of um folks also from um Baltimore with a breath of experience so we will tap them but um your day-to-day contacts
will be in Connecticut and and right close by y okay thank you you entered most of my every time I
wrote a question down you happen to answer it so Kudos too but all I want to know is where’s
Chris Chris isn’t Chris is in Baltimore right now he just couldn’t make it on uh short notice
so apologize thank you very quick question just your
concept about combining the black box and the amp does that mean you would have one building that is not either an
amp or a black box but something different I just want to understand what that idea was it it’ be one building
that does both so the example I talked about at Auburn that was a full-on blackbox theater and also serving events
functions dinners you name it because once you’re doing the flat floor might as well make it as flexible as possible
possible and also have it help you generate as much revenue as possible but it absolutely functioned 100% as a
blackbox and then it had some very famous artists work playing in it we’re actually doing phase two right now
because they couldn’t afford to do the lawn and all the landscaping and sight lines uh previously so what’s going in
now is additional restrooms uh space for food trucks Shore power for buses for
the artists and all the other amenities that should go into it including you know some beautiful new Landscaping but
it AB absolutely serves both and that was the whole point and you can you can totally design it that way you just got
to take care of a few technical issues and think about it from that point of view so but yeah but yeah one wall
separate so similar to your blackbox renderings that you’ve already had done where there’s a view and presumably that
out looks over the water right this gorgeous view that you would take advantage of you would find ways to
basically open that up you would repr proportion it so that it meets the needs of both um so it’ be probably different
proportion that a strict black box but that’s not necessarily a problem at all and then yes we can absolutely make it
happen so and that’s the project in Auburn Alabama Auburn Alabama what was the name of that project so it’s the gge
Center for the Performing Arts and gu is supposed g g e yeah 3500 excuse me it’s
30 35ish right now it’s coming out about 32 and change after some recent um
adjustments so but give or take yeah how manys yeah 30 yeah about 32 200 at the
moment 32 and I’m sure it’s scalable right yeah it’s absolutely scalable yeah so about 1,200 are chairs but they’re
removable chairs so that they can use it flexibly and then the rest are lawn seats thank
you uh I’m sorry but I missed is one of the representatives from Langan here no
okay um I was particularly interested in the return to the riverband and reconnecting Riverfront master plan
because I felt like those were very close so if you can comment on them but if you
can’t I understand I can’t comment on them but I’d be happy to um have them provide
some more information and we can send it along from Ling in
yeah so you have a a great group of people with a bre long breath of of
experience have you all worked together before the the whole crew not just the
four of you but the everyone that’s presented in
your every single one of us on one team no but we’ve all worked together in
various pieces so we haven’t like oh all each each consultant on a single project
at a single time no but we’ve each worked together before on various different projects sometimes multiple
together um sometimes more I think our can gwo and theater have gone back for
25 years so yep thank you we’re working with CES right now on a project at
Summers okay Manchester y with Bob we’re starting a project right now uh with
with them in Manchester thank you yep um Scott you mentioned the project
in Lafayette Louisiana what um what challenges did you face there which you
would see us having to deal with here being a coastal Waterfront the first
thing was flooding right and the potential for flooding and then we had two options you can either build right
in a flood proof Manner and deal with the fall out from that means raising your electrical right lifting up a stage
we had one where they stage because the view and the site naturally actually wanted to Stage by the water that would
have been the cheapest option because the land flowed that way we but it wasn’t feasible right the flooding
actually would have been above what we could reasonably do do for a stage so we actually had to rotate it and then do a
lot of work on the land to get it to have decent Sidelines that’s one all the underground infrastructure especially if
there is the potential for flooding and there’s ways to amarate that but you have to pay very careful attention and
then sight lighting right which we’re going to have sight lighting but also performance lighting and how to combine
performance lighting with sight lighting for things like turning the lights on at the end of a show turning them off
making sure you can control them so you don’t have Park Lighting on distracting the artist and all of those little
things and then one of the other things we had to deal with was how do you put
infrastructure because the majority of these types of projects it’s an infrastructure project a lot of the
equipment can be rented you can buy it later you can buy it over time but you have to get the infrastructure right day
one how do you do that in a way that’s vandalism proof and there are methods how do you do it in a way where you can
Shield it turn it off or lock it up so people aren’t out there using your power for whatever and then where do you put
some of the base infrastructure that you’re going to need to run a pavilion so there’s going to need to be audio to
some degree even if it’s portable you got to plug it in there’s going to be lighting where do you put that electrical equipment so in the one in
Lafayette basically there’s the stage and there’s a very small bar building behind it like super cheap bar building
and then all of it’s in there we’re conditioning one room and one room only because it is Louisiana very hot and
humid so but you know so we try to keep it very frugal but at the same time that stuff’s got to go somewhere so you’re
going to have the same issu what was what was the cost of that entire ire it’s $3 million three million bucks $3
million that was infrastructure and three minut site work and a stage it’s
actually larger than what’s shown here because of the artists who wanted to come in okay they wanted to upssize it
so and because of the history of the site it was really important that they didn’t take that historic community and
give them less than other communities who had similar amphitheaters being built thank you
so you did a great job keeping on the time thank you I’m on behalf of myself
and the whole team uh thank you so much we again I started with this these this project is what we live for we we very
much appreciate your time and look forward to to working with you on this thank you thank you very
much thanks everybody apprciate it take
you know I realized that we’re working with one microphone but the other one is right up there it’s probably live thank you so
we got a little creative so the two handouts one is just a good takeaway we
use a lot of QR codes just to be able to make videos and fly through some of them are drone flights of built projects uh
some of them are 3D videos um it’s an easy and inexpensive way to scan on your phone which people are doing at the
airport pretty much every time they travel um so it’s a way to distribute things to the community and
conversations using digital technology um so we thought that would be helpful just to quickly get our skill sets out
there um the second one is really an executive summary of The Proposal uh so we thought rather than walking through
the proposal page by Page um and since we couldn’t do the the slideshow uh we
came up with the idea that we’ll flip through our presentation so you know have a visual cue of what page we’re on
um and if you choose to do that that’s your leisure if you just want to listen to our harmonious articulation of our
ideas also fine um so don’t feel obligated uh we wanted to make this very informal also feel free to interrupt us
uh we we like to create more of a conversation than a presentation uh we’ll try to keep it brief so that we
have plenty of times for Q&A at the end so if you want to wait for questions at the end or interrupt us absolutely fine
um and I’m glad you had a table because we were getting creative somebody else would hold it we need a microphone so we obviously overthought this we understand
that um the first thing I like to say is the three of us have been working together for over two decades um and not
just once in a while pretty much all the time uh we were at Chuck’s office in Shelton uh TI and bind office before we
came here um and we frequent projects together pretty much on a daily basis um
my name is Daniel granis I’m out of the Connecticut office in glastenbury I do an awful lot of work work in Fairfield
um you might have noticed in the New York Times or west campus which is the repurposing of the GE uh Capital uh or
headquarters um that got published in the New York Times yesterday uh we also did the main campus Renovations on the
old Jewish Home site which renovated 15 Acres uh brought 860 commuters off the
road so less pollution in Fairfield um but also the savior of the embodied energy that was in that building um so
if you haven’t heard of us those projects are kind of close by um and we have Chuck you introduce yourself hello
I’m Chuck cochi a professional civil engineer um with tyan Bond located here in Connecticut I work out of the I kind
of split my time between Middletown Connecticut and Shelton office um in Connecticut we probably have close to 60
engineering professionals so we’re pretty much all the services you can think of we have right here in Connecticut and I’ve been working in the
the land use Land Development field for some 30 30 years now
thank you Chuck hello everyone my name is Jeff Gant I am a principal in the education um Studio at slam and I have
been working in education projects for over 20 years we deal a lot of times
with campuses and so understanding the way in which open space and buildings work together seamlessly is really
important to us that’s why Dan and I work together so much almost every project um we were not able to bring
with us today Alex Bagnal and uh who is from Kavanaugh andachi but we and they
are our theater designers but we work with them on every single project uh
that we do one of our Specialties is theater design and uh the reason we like working with them is because they are
top-notch in terms of uh technical aspects but they’re also really practical so they understand what your
needs are and can design around those so pleasure to be here thank you for having us and as you probably know by our name
the slam collaborative is something that we take very seriously uh my focus is in landscape architecture and planning but
we’re pretty much interchangeable working together uh we find if you design things from the inside out and
the outside in at the same time that’s how we make places uh we don’t we’re not just building buildings every project uh
changes a place uh not just with the project itself but everything around it it’s like a stone thrown in water it
doesn’t just affect where it lands but those ripples done properly have a dramatic impact on the community as a
whole uh so we take that very seriously uh and on the engineering front as you know tyan bond has all the pieces that
we don’t have so when you put the two together it’s a 1 plus one equals three um on this rather colorful page I’m not
going to list them all off but we have a lot of In-House Services uh so Structural Engineering inhouse uh
interior design uh construction service is a big one I like to say our estimators don’t estimate once in a
while they roll out of bed every morning exciting to do a cost estimate uh God bless them and they work with us
throughout the process very early and they know us as well personally so if they see a mistake that we’ve made in
the past they’re going to be very upfront to say let’s not go down that road again and let’s hold have those
conversations um and we Embrace healthy conflict within our collaborative practice um so we know each other we
have a lot of Legacy clients I have a lot of clients that we’ve been working for since I started at slam 23 years ago
we’re still working for those clients today uh we’re very interested in creating a relationship with you and if
we’re so fortunate would love to be a trusted adviser with this very impactful
uh project so we we’re on the page uh stewardship for resources and really
that is what we believe in and that is working with you to identify you know
your needs and your wants understand the parameters around the project one is budget one is scope and the other is
timing and all of those things will be managed we we do have an in-house Construction Services team so we are
builders um as Dan mentioned we have estimators professional estimators on our staff and we have an understanding
of each other there’s a Synergy there we can build this project we don’t have to build this project but either way it’s
great to have that perspective of the marketplace materiality procurement all of those things are CR critical these
days and so having those folks in housee that we can walk over to their desk and ask a question is important we
understand the full spectrum of of those stewardship and understanding you know all the different phases that they’ll be
involved with understanding the different costs that are associated with with any project so it’s critical that
we have those in our in our team the next page um is really about our
commitment to sustainability we know that is a critical feature of any project um and we are part of a bunch a
number of different initiatives within the state and nationally um we’ve done over 70 projects that have been
certified through lead um um so we’re extremely committed to this we know this it’s a big question especially in this
project as it relates to flooding and to storm wage management uh certainly having Chuck around for that is
critical so okay the next page is about time bound and just quickly we’re a 100 euro
plus firm um we have 500 professionals located in 13 offices throughout New England and we have a wide range of
services like as Dan said really fit in nicely with what they don’t provide and we we kind of complement uh what slam
does and then the next page just shows the kind of services we do you know civil engineering uh dams geotechnical
will be important on this site also want to point out site planning transportation and then Coastal we have
a coastal practice and seeing as this is on the honic river there’s features to this that I think Coastal is going to be
critical to this site we also have full environmental practice both uh soil
remediation and hazardous building materials so you know I think also soils might be important just to know that
what actually is in the constituents of the soils um then we have um water
Wastewater uh Building Services and GIS as well uh and then we have statford
experience we’ve worked on these the uh the town sewer system we renovated uh
five pump stations did a huge inii study throughout the town uh we did a Route 110 Transportation Corridor looking to
uh improve uh transportation uh along that whole Corridor there and then Environmental Services throughout
the town including uh you know contract plating Brownfield site uh Center School
demo uh and we we’re well aware of the rayark site and its soils and what’s in
those soils and then also we’re working on the eversource transmission line that that also runs through
straford great thanks Chuck um so be patient with our you know our format
using setting the stage but we’re moving into that part of the presentation uh and talking a little bit about our
relevant experience uh we want to get talking more about you but I know you do in The Proposal ask to hear about us so
we wanted to point that out as I said it’s it is placemaking and not just if it’s a park and a blackbox theater and
Jeff will talk about the Intriguing factor of it’s a blackbox with a capital T as we’re calling it with 500 seats and
we’re intrigued by that sort of idea we do a lot of theaters that are theater and a black and somehow you’ve come up
with this notion of hybridizing the two and that’s we get really excited about that um so you can see the images on the
top are really placemaking uh the amphitheater is out in the forest at the Westport YMCA we transformed or Camp
mahako um and although you’re and one thing I will mention if you look at those images they’re all different and
that’s because our work is about our clients uh we never say you should do this or you should do that we want to
listen to you find out what’s best for you and our programmers will be heavily involved in figuring out what you really
need and then what you want and we want to get you what you want as well but we’re going to help prioritize those
items so we get your if you’re going to spend $ one1 what’s going to be most impactful uh for your
community um so we just wanted to point that out that the image and the look of our projects it’s more important that
that’s appropriate for our clients and that’s why they all look very different and I’ve always found that very noteworthy about our work um this just a
drone image that you see you know the the look and feel of your outdoor spaces we really love to tr and
I I love the site it’s a it’s a blank Camp that’s waiting for a masterpiece to be painted we’re so enamored with it
some of the murals on the building um you know the one of the woman you could walk by the Guggenheim and say I would I
would stop and stare at that for some time so how do we engage your community make them part of the process um and
sort of make sure that we listen first then we then we advise we will say did
you think of this or did you think of that um so bringing our experience you’re going to know a lot more about
your community than we do and we’re going to bring expertise to the table to put those uh thoughts together and come
up with the best project for you uh we also did a master plan for Camp Mata um
that is part of the Waterberry YMCA um it’s adjacent Waterberry and
this is just an image of things that we can do to look at the existing condition and show you how we can transform these
spaces um that are not just delivering the program they’re doing it in an Artful way so that you can really create
a transformational experience and that’s what really excites us and draws our attention to your particular site and
your particular program um lots of uh indoor outdoor connection the image with
the amphitheater uh amphitheaters just become lost pieces of the landscape if they’re not properly placed uh so yours
with the Waterfront view although you know we want to make sure it has the the right orientation of course U but we’re
going to look opportunities with the blackbox theater as well how does it visually connect outdoor spaces should
it create some kind of conversation with the traditional architecture uh we’re working on the with the uh a project uh
with the Gilman School some really initial conceptual thoughts similar to what you just went through uh to create
uh excitement for the project a very similar idea with a very contemporary black box which isn’t really that black
doesn’t have to be black on the outside necessarily um and also adjacent traditional architecture so how do you
do that in a way that’s Artful and has a conversation that’s appropriate but also appropriately different for the use um
so it doesn’t have to mimic traditional architecture it wants to have some kind of conversation that’s appropriate
perhaps um that’s something that we’d asked you to think about and the reason the Hopkins one is important is because
it’s right at the Music Theater so the piano goes outside they play music outside you want to encourage people to
get outside as much as possible um and any structure you build should have flexible uses um and wants to have some
connectivity we would suggest you consider uh to the outdoors and that’s both visually and physically um and then
there’s those spaces in between it’s Providence College we help them remove Huxley Avenue from the campus similar
thing that we did at the University of Notre Dame to create these spaces that are dominated by vehicles and make them
feel like they’re really owned by pedestrians we call that the spaces in between and then sustainable site design
is integrated in everything that we do uh working of course with Chuck to make sure that these a lot of these
attractive stormwater designs are cheaper than more mechanical Meats uh so
sometimes we’re saving money at the same time making it more attractive and easier to maintain uh
landscape thanks Dan so if we start to talk about the art spaces one of the things that’s really interesting to us
about this project is you called it a blackbox and yet it’s a 550 seat theater
so what is blackbox to you how do we Define that how do we work together to really understand what your goals are
are um we’ve done as I mentioned a number of different theaters you know whether it’s a th000 seat is it 350 seat
for a small high school where you can’t really project you know so you want to keep it intimate um or is it a black box
um and black boxes are really all about experimentation and be able and being flexible and being able to paint the
floor and then repaint it and so you know that’s one type of thing a a highly
sort of polished and you know presentation theater as another and so
how do we merge those two um that’s those are questions we’re going to want to ask you what what are the types of
support spaces that you’re going to need for this black box how much storage are you going to need do you want fixed
seating or do you want uh seating that you can retract or seating that you can
put away in a storage area because that creates more floor space for flexible
uses um one of the things that we did at Notre University of Notre Dame is uh up in the right hand corner here and
actually if we flip through a few more pages um is what we call a white box and
a white box is a little bit more refined black box and it allows you to say okay
we still want to be experimental but we want to do it in a way that’s a little bit more refined maybe we can introduce
Windows into a black box you know these days with Shades that are full blackout
and acous at the same time we can do a lot of things that help to maintain the things that are critical to somebody
who’s doing a theater performance but then the next day someone’s going to come in and say we want to have a yoga
class in here and we would really love to have some natural light so a white box is a way of just you know
conceptually thinking about it at Notre Dame it turned into an actual white box but um it still has all of the technical
aspects you can see in that picture that it’s got all of the um Acoustics that are necessary we can do all the variable
Acoustics where if you’re going to have a music performance that’s a much different room than if you’re going to have a theater performance because of
the way sound and resonance work um so you have to have that variable acoustic built in but you can do it in ways that
are Artful and responsive and as Dan said you know that’s true on the inside
but even on the outside we know you have a historic building that is adjacent to this or maybe on on the same site how
those the two structures talk to each other is going to be a critical component of this project do we want to
be more traditional do we want to break from that do we want to how do how do they talk to each other so all of those
things are part of the exploration that we’ll do with you we have the experience
in whatever Direction you want to go in and we have the tools to show you what’s good what’s bad about each of those
decisions maybe we’ll bring both in and say this one’s a little bit more traditional this one breaks from it how
do you feel about each of these and then we get your feedback B Bas on our expertise and together we create the
right Vision you know or the right response to your vision so all of those things are sort of captured in these
these pictures and we can like I said we can do whatever Direction you want to go in but what we’re seeing a lot these
days is that theaters want to be flexible spaces because we know you have
to generate revenue and having one sort of fixed type of building or space isn’t
going to do that for you you have to be able to appease a lot of different people if you want to attract them all
because if you want a super per high performance theater that would be great for that event but then you won’t be
able to do any of the other things that you want to do that maybe different members of your community want to use
the space for so flexibility flexibility flexibility and how do you do that you know using the tools that we have so
that’s what that’s what we’re really excited about this project or what excites us about this project is just
exploring all those different opportunities with you so I guess we’ll
um go all the way to the page where it says visualization um and that’s just an
example of some projects that we’re starting to you know or a tool that we’re starting to implement on a bunch
of projects these days which is here’s the plan but then here’s a QR code that
actually puts you in that room and you can start looking around and saying oh I don’t like the cornice on that or we
should move this set of drapes over here because it works better you know putting
yourself in the space is what this is all about and if we had a digital version of this visualization you’d see
you could actually oh you got it you got it on your phone you’re starting to see that um and and then ultimately the page
that has technical review on it is just all about we know these are system intensive spaces you know and we know
what those systems are and as I said uh kaban aachi and Alex vagnal so good at
being like he can say tell you what every single dial and button is on that uh lighting uh unit but you don’t need
all those perhaps maybe what you need is this type of board and you know save your money why spend this much money
when all you’re really going to use it for is this so defining what that is and defining the space and you the way in
which you use it is part of the technical review all right I’ll pass it
back thank you so much Jeff so I think you’re very familiar with the site
you’ve probably been out there a lot more than than we have what I loved about it is that there is this sense of
community you know there is it’s a little beat up um but it’s treasured uh
so if you were able to improve that just imagine how that what an impact in the community it’s in a strategic location
uh it’s got enough topography to get some views uh over the arena um and I’ll flip to the next page AG um there’s that
mural that I was so enamored with um there was another one too that was equally colorful I thought they were
both great um but that one just it struck me that that is a really high quality piece of art um not that they
both aren’t and maybe I’m a little biased but I can tell you if I’m in a museum I would stop and stare at that for some time there’s something very
emotional about it and I think it speaks to the community uh somebody must have given a lot of thought to put that there
um and is making use of a a structure that is boarded up and turning it into a piece of art so I just wanted to say
thumbs up for that the image in the middle upper I love the Green Lawn that’s the that’s the you know the
Masterpiece waiting to be painted um looking into the clouds into the ocean
uh recognizing the traditional architecture the pond it’s where is it you know then working with Chuck will be
able to make sure that we meet environmental requirements and create some really Stellar views out to it um
and maybe the placement of the build building uh wants to be orchestrated to take views of the building uh we know
that there is an issue with accessibility on the existing building so again we wouldn’t tell you what you should do we would say hey did you think
of this and did you think of that exactly what Jeff explained with the building we’re going to give you a range
of options and only one of them will survive uh but we have to go through all that exercise and do our homework so we
have Ready Aim Fire and not ready fire aim um and that’s where understanding the existing condition and paral with
doing programming you’ll meet some high quality programmers that do Performing Arts facilities with us all the time and
they’ll go through each space um and once that’s done then we’ll start to share ideas with you real ideas that
deliver that program in a costeffective but impactful and Artful way and that’s
really the process that you saw in our proposal um is really existing conditions program verification you’ve
done a lot of programming we want to make use of all that that’s why we call it programming verification a they’ve
done great conceptual design and we just want to you know take that to the next level uh working with you and your
community and we love to engage with the community not just the user groups that are using the building but those are
going to visit the park and we partner with you on how we develop those conversations but those are
conversations that we encourage uh and have all the time and with that I’ll pass it to Chuck to talk about some of
the brass TXS and out of just into the parking lot
there is a lot of to be able to position that theater right yeah thanks Dan uh on
on this uh slide here there’s two pictures and the top one really shows the limits of the flood plane for the
honic river and as you can see it goes up pretty much through half of the parcel so that that impacts certain
types of permits that will need to be required to obtain if we’re doing work within the flood plane also on the lower
image you can see the green hatching that indicates this is from online sources but that indicates tital
wetlands and tile wetlands are also another um type of Permitting that we’ll have to
address that’s more Army Corps permitting so basically this slide kind
of outlines what are some of the potential permitting uh that this project may need and so if we’re working
within title Wetland that’s Connecticut deep and Army Corps permitting um and when you get into that type of
Permitting there could be requirements to do uh shipo which is State historic preservation office there’s also uh
natural diversity database because there could be um listed endangered species in the area and um there’s also State and
Fisheries review so that’s just some permits we do those all the time um we can easily uh help you navigate through
that process and then as you get out of the flood plane um there’s other permits
that will be needed like the local Coastal site plan review and also a local flood plane uh development um
permit which is through the town and we have experience in that as well
and then the next kind of the next uh uh view here is again of the flood plane and it just goes in a little more detail
about the flood plane regulations so locating the theater um you know as Dan
said in the parking lot the parking lot is outside of the flood plane so pretty much you can set the elevation of that
of that theater where you want and set the location wherever um you know in relation to the existing building that
makes sense the permitting is a lot easier but once we go down into the flood plane with that building then
there’s requirements from the town and and FEMA but basically the town has the regulations where the first floor of the
of the theater has to be above the 100e flood elevation if it’s not above the 100e flood if it dips down below then
part of the building has to be flood proofed that’s much more expensive type of construction um the regulations do
allow if you put the theater into the flood plane area that’s below the first floor that’s that’s in the flood plane
you’re allowed flood waters to flow through it if it’s just storage and parking but there is definitely some
flood regulations to consider when citing the building and we’ll also work with Dan um very closely and and Jeff in
the storm waterer management to meet local requirements Connecticut deep requirements which they this came out with new manuals this year and uh also
incorporate low impact development storm water techniques which uh really become part of the
landscape yeah thank you so much much chuck do want to make sure we leave time for questions so we’re going to wrap up
uh but I would point out that that’s the key to working together is we find out the problems early early problems are
not problems because we can navigate them problems found late or questions not asked appropriately too late become
become a problem uh so we were very good at navigating them early we did a 100 Acre land purchase with Yale New Haven
Health with tyan Bond we educated him on the land purchase every permit you you could possibly imagine was part of that
purchase and they used that to negotiate the price so we just have an enormous amount of experience avoiding those
unpleasant surprises at the end of the project because we know how to hunt for them early um we talked about engaging
the community we have all kinds of techniques that we use not just technology but uh games and sort of
projects that we use uh we might even put out a plan and say what do you really like about the park and
sculptures I think somebody’s going to put that on the list uh those sculptures are fantastic things that we want to
protect and preserve and things that the weaknesses of the site we want to flip those into assets rather than
liabilities um so we’d love to open it up to questions we have questions for you but if if we run out of time that’s
fine of course we want you to go first and we’re at your beck and
call any in your experience doing the Waterfront I know you went over the flood things do you see any other
uh potential Road bumps or hazards which um you’d want to warn us ahead of time
or some things we may not be considering right now I I think early on we would
want to get a really comprehensive site survey to identify really where is the flood plane elevation on the site so we
can know when we’re in or out of flood plane we also would want to um we have Wetland scientists who can go out and
actually you know confirm where your title wetlands are located so if we know the title wetlands are then we know if
if we avoid those area we can we can limit the amount of Permitting um and
then yeah basically just just understanding where the utilities are on
site to know if we have to bring in new utilities from the street um the regulations state that the building HVAC
systems have to be above flood plane so you have to think about when they come in they have to be waterproof and then
they have to be raised up above flood plane like like a Transformer for example so another question is um based
upon what you proposed what would you see like a realistic timeline to get all this done it depends on the permitting
if we if we’re strategic about where the theater goes where the improvements are
the permanent could be a few months if we get into Army Corps Connecticut deep
it could be up to a year and that’s sorry keep going oh and then the other thing we might want to look at when
we’re doing geotechnical right we do geotechnical borings to determine what the soils are to determine what the
foundation of the building is um we may want to also sample the soils for environmental constituents just to see
what we’re dealing with in the soil and if we want to manage that on site and keep it on site as opposed to trucking
it offsite which would be costly if it has some kind of environmental pollution in it and you’ll see one of the first
things that we’ll do is sit down with you and not just the goals and objectives of the project and the vision for the project
but the timeline of the project and you’re going to see bars for Regulatory and we rely on Chuck who not even knows
the approximate time frame they know the people that were actually review it uh so if we need traffic they know office
of State traffic Administration is piled up right now we better get it in a little early so we’ll work back and
forth and Geotech is really important because we find early on some of these soils are just unusable uh so we either
need to dispose of them on site uh but not under structure and cap them we’re
very good at playing shell game to get you the best value and some of them are very usable uh so knowing that ahead of
time is good and we’ll also talk about resiliency like even if we only have to be a foot above the flood plane we’ll
say do you want to go a little further we have some fill material to make use of we’ll walk you through not just the
regulatory uh hurdles uh but things we want to do to kind of future proof your project uh thinking in terms of decades
and centuries not years um who would be the project
manager who would who would be our day-to-day our pic’s on a lot of projects particular of this size are
heavily involved so I would be a day-to-day contact okay I will have a project manager um Ellen Fallon seneshaw
uh you see here in The Proposal I work with him her a lot um similarly at
Brunswick Academy we just did a master plan we’re implementing we actually got to go to an arc meeting tonight um she
is she is heavily involved um but I am a day-to-day contact to make sure and that’s the key to slam collaborative is
that we are involved on a daily basis and then we have a lot of people and access to people depending on what you
need if you need a programmer you need a structural engineer to go to a meeting we have access directly because we’re
principles um but we don’t Fade Into the background we’re in the foreground but we’re highly supported by people that we
need um so she would be highly active making sure Consultants uh luckily we’re working with Chuck so he doesn’t need a
a lot of management uh but there might be certain things that we need to follow up on and she would more more internal
um her heavy role in PM would be internal but you’ll see both of us in meetings and we will both be heavily
active uh whenever it is needed um so that’s kind of how on this particular project the pic and PM Ro uh work thank
you you’re welcome uh I don’t have a terribly specific question but I I will thank you
for the space Hopkins and it’s a magically beautiful space thank you it’s
somehow just so much more than the sum of its parts and thank you for that thank you and we did the Glade and the
quad and we’re doing Performing Arts there now I love the quad and the Glade because they’re so different uh but
there that’s the diversity of spaces that we encourage you like you need a diversity of spaces to serve a diverse Community some people want to be out in
the open the extrovert and some people need some more quiet spaces uh thank you for
that I agree with that comment too I thought that that was that was a good creative presentation there I the what
the black box versus the white box and I think you made a comment about we call it a black box but then we said 500
people what’s the typical size and do do you have a lot of experience with either
black boxes or white boxes and is one favored over
another so I think the idea of the white box is an evolution from the black box
but there is a difference in our mind between a true blackbox Theater which is
typically 150 probably right around there 150 200 Max
for a blackbox and it’s much more experimental you know you often sit in the space rather than out in you know
beyond a prum and so it’s it’s more experimental it’s it’s flexible there’s
it’s usually a flat floor a theater is you know there’s presentation right
there’s the prum there’s the lighting and you know I mean um procession so
when when we heard blackbox we were like oh okay we we know that and then we heard 550 seats we said well what is
this you know so if it is truly a black box that’s you know a little bit smaller
and experimental a white box is just an evolution of that that says it can be more than just a theater space um and if
you add the 550 seats to it again we’re going to ask you questions about should they be fix seats or do you want to roll
them back and actually use that floor space for something different uh so hopefully that answers the question
between the differences there yeah and I’ll just add quickly to that the cool thing that Jeff said earlier is that we
have experience in all of them every conceivable theater Black Box white box we have an enormous amount of experience
about the pros and cons so that brings that to your attention so you could say oh that definitely is preferable or we
don’t need that uh we have the experience to show you options you should consider we give you a gold star
for not being bound by nomenclature that’s what really brought our our attention is you took a term and you
added 500 seats that’s fantastic like that’s a a great idea and what does that mean and we’re we’re interested and
helping figure out exactly what that is like if you we’re inside that black box rendering what does it look like I think
that’s a very curious question to to ponder and answer so in um to answer your question
the 550 kind of morphed because it was really 300 350 and that was truly a blackbox
because the concept was for small performing groups dance recital musical
recital um not having to go into the school which has a beautiful theater as
designed by George um that functions very very well and it’s really not for
big performing groups to come in it’s more for local community but it’s um the white box concept is is
lovely because it have might even be next to our white historic house so it just might flow very well anyway
George I just want to talk about the uh because it sparked for the first time I think uh in this
presentation at least to the level that I’m thinking about it is the timeline you know to elaborate what Chris
mentioned um you talked about a real lot of permits and I know this guy knows this better than I do and you know high
level and I know you can’t we wouldn’t pin you down to this but the day you get the survey that shows Wetlands grades
and the whole nine yards from that point forward what do you think it is in
time to get to a concept um after you after you’ve talked
to us and understood our wants and our desires and then from that point the permitting process I you did mention I
think three months in one way and it could be a year in another way um um because that sort of blows us out of the
war a little bit and I but I think it’s realistic so I’m not saying that it’s wrong I just want I think it’s important
for this committee to understand that our expectations might be too high so can you give me your high level
perception what you think that could look like from the time you get the survey well there’s two things I’ll let
Chuck answer the regulatory hurdles but a good way to think about it is that when we get those regulatory hurdles
that Chuck will outline for us and we’ll put them as little bars then sometimes what we do is we slide those bars around
a little bit on the design side those become hard things fixed things that and
we we we don’t like to be optimistic about them we like to be pessimistic about them um and that might mean Jeff
and I better get uh you know get moving um and sometimes there’s some things that can stay at schematic design level
and some things you need to advance further in order to get them in so sometimes some of those regulatory
things can actually happen in schematic design because we’ve Advanced things earlier that we know we need the classic
is that we finish DD and we begin a regulatory process uh sometimes the regulatory timelines don’t allow that to
happen to hit the deadlines that you need to make um so there’s a lot of back and forth on how that’s going to happen
um the other thing to keep in mind is that we don’t want to rush you either like we can work quicker if we know
there are limits to how fast we can do our work um but we have a lot of capacity uh we have almost 300 people
with slam and and Chuck has tyan bond has even more and we have access to them
so we we prioritize in house to say we just need the right people on this project to make it happen um but at the
same time you want to have all those conversations you want to engage the community so we work with you to create
a timeline that works best for you and if we need to pull up our bootstraps a little bit or a lot uh that’s something
that we’re used to doing um and I’ll let Jeff answer as well because there will be timelines associated with the theer
I don’t know if you wanted to talk about yeah I was going to say we’re kind of pushing on time so so maybe satisfies
your question yeah I just had a quick question on are you designing the theater in house and what is Kavanaugh’s
role in that so kavan natashi is a theater design consultant who does Acoustics and theater design so they we
work seamlessly with them you know we’ll we’ll ultimately be the ones to design design the the outer core and make sure
the building functions and has meets code and all of that um and then we’ll work with them in terms of um Acoustics
the way that lays out like you can see one of those projects uh some of them I
won’t try to get into pointing out but you know the shape of the walls uh the way in which you know variable Acoustics
are going to happen as I mentioned in that Notre Dame we had sort of scalloped walls because you know that’s going to
reverberate sound and then we had a curtain that you could pull in front of it it so you know they’ll tell us okay
well those panels need to be so big because you know we want to hit a certain reverberation time so you know
it’s a little bit of back and forth but they know everything there is to know about the systems they can design the
Acoustics uh and we’ll take care of the
rest well thank you very very much for being here we appreciate your presentation we appreciate your
expertise and as George said some of the things that we didn’t think about before I thought it was really helpful that you
brought to light thank you so much for your time thank
Hi how are you right us a little bit of a
curve so the curveball was because we are recording this and the we could not
show your presentation and record the conversation so that’s why we’re doing it the oldfashioned way we
figured so while you’re setting up we’ll uh introduce ourselves so you know who you’re talking to uh I’m Laura hoic I’m
the mayor of the town of Stratford George peram a chair of the uh
RDA here in statford and principal of via Visionary Interiors architecture in Nook I’m John casy the town
engineer Jim Benson I chair The Economic and Development Community uh commission here in
straford uh Tom Dylan I’m a resident I was on the last two committees that worked on the Shakespeare property and I
run the little market that is you know happening at the property
now Mary Dean economic development director for the town of straford Chris timac chief
administrative officer for the town did you want us to use the
[Music] microphon we’re
live should we get started all right well uh
thank you uh for everyone for inviting us uh short listing us this is really uh
it’s a special project and it’s uh special to me in particular I mean I I I live in Milford but like right on the
Stratford border so I find myself in Stratford all the time whether I’m losing a golf ball at you know short
Beach where at Bird’s getting some fish or at Home Depot more than I ever want to admit um you know statford is really
dear to me um in a lot of ways um uh one of the things I wanted to talk
and you you guys have all seen our uh the RFP and you know who we all are but something I want to stress about
ourselves is that we you know our firm and this group in particular really uh
you know we specialize in creating creative and inspiring spaces that are
built on who the people are that we’re working with that’s really key to what we’re do we don’t come in with any
preconceived notions of what the solution needs to be um and with that I
also want to introduce our team also so we have an incredible team that we put together for this um myself who I forgot
to introduce is uh Chris boxall I’m a partner with spel and partners
Architects um i’ been involved in a lot of really fantastic projects over the
years but I want to highlight these folks uh to my right over here is Mera me who is an associate principal with
spal and partners but she’s also some of the accolades that you might not know but you should know is she was um
awarded a 40 under 40 a couple of years one year ago
um I caught myself on that yeah um uh well she was yeah uh woman in
architecture uh kind I’m forgetting them all now I have them all written down here because um
uh what else was it the woman in architecture uh uh founding member of uh
Noma which is really promoting uh uh justice Equity diversity and inclusion
in architecture and art practice as well as our communities that we’re serving um so she’s very involved in
that she’s a mother um she’s an incredible artist and she’s also a fantastic architect I could keep going
but I’m not going to um this also is Chad Frost who is over
there Chad is another uh incredible landscape architect and actually when we
first saw the RFP uh Chad and I called each other immediately and said you know what this is something that we really
want to go after together uh incredible placemaker uh just in talented uh
landscape architect uh we also have Joe lahan with fuss and O’Neal who’s civil
uh permitting really kind of he’s I like to think he’s the unsung hero of our team because he handles all the things
that are kind of below the ground things that people don’t see but he’s probably the most one of the most important
people on our team because he’s going to be the first one in looking at all the infrastructure and all the the sort of
hidden traps that we might have and last but certainly not least uh Tony Foreman
with uh uh next gen I mean uh I’m sorry
next stage just I had this all nailed earlier and uh anyways one of the things
we’re very fortunate to have Tony because Tony not only is I think one of the preeminent uh Performing Arts
designers in the United States but he’s also been a performer and he’s been he
knows the audience also so he comes at uh Performing Arts in such a different way as you know what the performer wants
to see what do they need to see and the audience as well as the people who are running the facility so you know
incredible Talent here um one of the things we want to do uh off the bat is
talk about our approach and how we approach these types of projects I’ll take that over can you
guys hear me okay I know that the echo is a little hard um so so yeah what we
want to talk about is our holistic approach to a project like this uh I think one of the um notable things about
all of our work is that none of our projects look the same and that’s because we approach approach each one
looking at the unique history of the place the unique site characteristics and then we come up with something that
could only be in that place and this is that type of project you really want it
to be special to feel like this could only be here um and looking at the whole
site we want to consider it from beginning to end that entire experience and think about it all together we want
to think about how it will engage all of the senses so what will you see as you’re coming in what will you hear what
will you smell and these are the types of things we like to think about right from the beginning because they engage
people they draw people in um and when you have such a beautiful site like this
with such a natural setting you can really take advantage of those features
um in our packet here we included some images of the New Haven Botanical Garden of healing you can see this was also a
very natural site with sort of a striking um features of West Rock and so
we really built the entire project around the the axes of that that view when you come in and that powerful
impact of the rock um there were also there’s a stream going by so we wanted to engage people in an auditory
experience coming along the stream and we also Incorporated Windchimes to sort of pick up on that transition from the
traffic noise to the more natural uh sounds of the setting in the park uh moving along a little little bit
about our process you know not I’m I’m sure there are folks In This Crowd here who are very familiar with the design
process um but not everybody who’s going to be involved with this will be and this diagram is sort of illustrating
what that design process is sort of like it’s a big squiggly line it’s a big tangle of things um we’re taking into
consideration so many different things right from the beginning and our job is to lasso all of that uh information all
of the site information all of the aspirations from the community and how begin to untangle that so that we can
present things to you all in a way that is clear concise easy to understand and
allows the decision-making process to move forward smoothly uh the next thing I want to
talk about is the community engagement now you might hear Community engagement as a term thrown around a lot this is
something that has been uh foundational to swal um and other folks here tonight
from the very beginning begin we truly believe that engagement makes projects better um and we have spent a number of
years honing the tools to make engagement work well um it’s a great way to get people involved you know we it’s
helpful for us because we get to hear from a lot of people that uncover things that we may not have thought about and
so it makes the project better in that way we we get all the best information but it’s also extremely important for
people in the community to hear each other in a process like this this this is a a resource for the community so we
want to bring people out get them engaged in the conversation around this and have them talking to each other
about what is important and there are a lot of different ways to engage folks um there’s surveys and polls yes but we’ll
also want to figure out you know who are the the folks that we want to get on the phone that interview figure out what
what potential roadblocks might come down further down the line um it’s also great to get folks involved in polling
you know when once you get down to some of the finer decisionmaking maybe you have a color palette or a couple um
design options for something and you can pull the community to see what do you like better and they’re then becoming
part of that engagement process part of the design process and feeling ownership over this project because it it does
belong to the community um and I know where we want to move quickly so the last thing I want to touch on is
artwork so artwork is is extremely important to us um on on our side of
things and we feel that it it brings a lot of things to the table uh one of the things it does is um when you put art in
a place it makes that place extremely special and in a landscape like this you
want to feel like oh wow there could be something beautiful around any corner and it adds that element of surprise and
delight and makes the whole place feel very special um it’s also an opportunity for storytelling um bringing up history
about this place about the um the Performing Arts Center and the organization here and establishing an
identity uh for the people who are involved and a common bond for those who are involved in the project um and yet
it’s another way to engage the local folks um a project like this is a tremendous opportunity for youth in the
community to get involved and understand what a process like this is about I could see local theater groups being
involved in this schools getting excited about it so a lot of folks to involve and and reach out to in the
process thank you Marissa good evening uh Joseph Lenahan
with fuss and O’Neal I’ve been with them for 20 years and it’s uh actually been a number of years since I’ve been in these
council chambers so I I welcome the invitation back uh it’s great to see we’re back in this forum here and as
Chris said as part of the site civil engineering part I’m not as um upfront
when it comes to a lot of the the performance arts part but as you all know without the engineers we need to be
able to make things work so we would be working hand inand you know with you
with our design team to ensure that throughout this site that we have here and there’s a lot of site considerations
and elements that we’ll need to address we’ve got um the access throughout the
site right we were coming in off the road for autos and for pedestrians making it in the site throughout the
site and then out of the site to make sure that’s seamlessly there through there taking the proposed use that we
have ensuring that we’re meeting the town regulations with the parking count and such we’re also entertaining
potentially having a side entrance or a rear entrance for specifically service
performers uh Utilities in order to take that away from say the public entrance
to keep that isolated as part of our also our overall development we also have to think about the sustainable
strategies and green infrastructure storm water management we need to ensure that any of the proposed development
that we do added impervious areas we’re able to mitigate we want to mitigate to ensure that we have improved water
quality that we reduced our pre- impost runoff and flow volumes and to ensure that through all our erosion measures
and construction activities we’re not going to impact any of the wetlands that are on site the adjacent honic River as
well as Selby Pond not to mention the the residential development that we have also surrounding Us in addition to that
we also want to take a look at Al the all the utility companies that are going to be providing services to the site to
ensure that the demand that we have matches up with the capacity that they can give us so we work through that
process another key thing to keep in mind is the fact of looking at all of the Town regulations for zoning Wetlands
ADA compliance and ensure all of that is met through the permitting process that
we have as you know majority of the time you’ll see a lot of that down in the dirt sort of engineering work that we’re
going to provide for the town to make sure that it’s a viable project with that and lastly I’m going to hand it
over to Chad for talking about landscape architecture thanks Joe again my name is
Chad Frost I’m a principal with Kent Frost landcape architecture we’re based out of M Connecticut uh couldn’t be more
thrilled to be here talking to you tonight about this project as Chris mentioned when it first came out called
right away and said this is like right up both of our firm’s alleys uh we have
we’ve been in practice for about 25 years art and the integration of art into the landscape into the site is one
of our key teners of what we try to do all the time we’ve been doing performant art Parks our first one was about 22
years ago that we we personally did um it’s still thriving to this day it’s
it’s putting on performances Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday nights um
it’s a mostly outdoor venue like this and so we’re really you know that’s what we’ve kind of cut our teeth on and we
really are excited about this and then bringing in the rest of the art so as you’ve seen through our uh
qualifications we do try to do things custom to each site as Marissa talked about really identifying talking with
you about what is custom about our location this community bringing that to the Forefront so we can really tell a
story through the art uh while creating places and things and amenities that really Define uh this park um um I’ll
also just quickly touch on on performance spaces before handing it over um again how the space gets used
how you experience the space how the public comes in and goes how the uh uh
the performers come and go is so critical um all the services that on that previous slide if you’re following
through the the stage that we had done for Mansfield Center um it functions on
a daily basis as just traffic flow for people to be able to walk through that that site specifically has to have so
many different functions uh when Yukon wins the national championship they get off the bus there but yet when somebody
wants to have lunch from the sandwich shop it needs to be comfortable for them and then when events come in and they do
performances it needs to work for them and so we made what is really a very small site accommodate all of those uses
um by making it fairly easy for them to move around and change things and then on on our placem page there you can see
a project we’re currently working on again bringing in that Flex fible performance space so you can really make
it adaptive uh one of the things we’ve talked about as a team is is how do we how does this park function on a
day-to-day basis when it’s just a neighborhood park or Community Park versus uh in on certain weekends when
you might be having the the market going on versus when you’re doing really events and and how does it grow over
time and evolve over time as you go from maybe just an outdoor performance venue to eventually this multi-purpose
performance space uh and all the different needs that that encompasses so I’ll turn it over thanks Chad y um this
is such a great team because we’ve been trading ideas about all week and now we’re talking each other’s language
already so it’s uh it’s a lot of fun um it’s a challenge to design an outdoor
performance space that works for you when it’s not a performance space so on
this page uh that Chad pointed out the lower right hand corner that’s uh Marcus
Garvey Park in Harlem U that I worked on uh and it’s a park in Harlem it’s used
247 uh when before the renovation it was used as a shelter it was used to charge
cell phones it was used for all kinds of things uh that W are not considered
Community engaging um and part of the goal of the renovation was to sort of
keep this in good shape so that when they did the park Department put on a show that the plug in thewall worked and
that the power was there and that the stage you know hadn’t been burned down um so there are ways to do this and and
we work hand inand with Joe to say yes this is the lighting system it’s going to need this much power sound system is
going to need this much power and we look at it from a very holistic point of view as well because here you’re going
to have a Performing Arts venue outdoors and I suspect one of the things you may want to do is have a music event with an
amplified band so how we Orient that building is going to depend on how few
phone calls you get from the neighbors um so we have you know we’re going to keep that in mind um so it’s circulation
it’s front of house back of house all of that the Sun the angle of the sun making
and the wind um you know it’s great to come in and smell the Salt Air uh when you come onto the site it may not be so
good when there’s a real head wind blowing and all the stuff on stage is falling over so we you know we we look
at that um it’s a very exciting project because it is a park and it’s a place
that should be used Around the Clock safely and it should be a very special
place for those performances which are going to be periodic right I mean hey
I’d be the first person to love it if you had performances every night of the week but I don’t think that’s going to
happen um but we can make it happen um so um it’s a team effort and and just
really resonating with what Marissa talked about the integration with the community and getting their feedback is
vitally important because the last thing we want to do is presume
anything that is going to be built and cost your money cost the town money have
to be maintained and that it isn’t useful that’s not helpful and we’re here
to be helpful um and partners with the town to make that
happen so I think where we would like to transition now is to start to talk about the site a little bit we we purposely
didn’t come in with a preconceived design idea or uh even though we wanted
to I wanted to um I I fought the urge um
and and everybody agreed with me actually Chad told me no yes um but um and but I think that really
resonates with again what I mentioned earlier uh in the discussion is that that’s not really how we work because we
want to know about the park how it’s used and the folks that are going to be using it also that’s so key to telling
your story and telling the park story also and bringing it to life um with
that we do we did look at the site we’ve been to the site um and we have some ideas that we’d like to share that we
think are exciting but um again it these are just some ideas is so so these
aren’t designs just just want to cue that up um first one that we wanted to
talk about is just circulation on the site so if you go to the the next slide we have this one
um and with this um hopefully everyone’s going to chime in a little bit also and
this is a discussion is uh you know right now it’s largely vehicular uh focused you know there’s
there’s a drive that kind of cuts through the whole thing there’s a large parking lot um but we think that there’s
there’s opportunities to sort of restrict some of the vehicular traffic um and make it more pedestrian friendly
um we think also the arrival and the entrance to the park is absolutely essential and that sets the tone for
everybody and everything coming on to the site especially when you come down Elm Street which is just a incredibly
Charming one of the nicest streets around because the houses are set back and it’s got this wonderful
canopy um and then you have the the garden that’s right next to the entrance I mean it’s just a really picturesque
and it sets the tone so that the Gateway onto this site needs to Echo and reflect
what people are going to feel um and with that we also think that the The
Pedestrian we think you know there’s an opportunity to really showcase Selby Pond which we’ll touch on earlier right
now you you almost go by it and you don’t even know it’s there because it’s it’s it’s overgrown um and just the idea
of creating an art Park that really allows people to explore the site also
versus just you know going to single destinations um yeah I I’ll jump in real
quick and just say one of the reasons we’re hoping you invited us here is because of all the art and integration of art that we showed in the in our
response and and what we’ve shown on on the slide I was about to say the screen but um you know is the idea of bringing
that art in and using that to help make a placemaking statement and whether that’s at the Gateway um and where that
Gateway is and how we want to approach the site the first thing as Landscape Architects we do the creation of
meaningful memorable exterior spaces and so we need to start with how do we create that space and where’s that
threshold the doorway into the park and what is that experience like uh and how do we let the public know with with
subconscious cues that this is where they want to go and arrive and not just a small little sign that says you’ve arrived um so the idea a of large Place
making art and and is that what we use and we want to have that discussion with you if you like that if you don’t like
that how much of that do you want um you know is that exciting or not exciting uh and then let that kind of bring you into
the site and as Chris mentioned the circulation uh right now when you go out on there there’s a lot of parking
there’s a lot of Roads there’s a little bit of grass and there’s some the the pond is be beautiful the marsh could be
beautiful the views are phenomenal and so how do we you know slightly rearrange
things we did here in your you know what you put out that you don’t want to have a complete redo but how do we modify
what you have so far to really work uh and amplify things so if not only is a
stage oriented so that it’s best for the performance but also takes advantage doesn’t block the best view and things
like that yep and uh the other thing is you know obviously service you know right uh
maintenance uh fire you know uh ambulances all that has to we have to serve all that and then how how do we do
the we’re going to transition right over to the the food truck area is how do you do that so that it’s a safe environment
and yet it’s shielded and that people want to go there that they’re excited to go there but you’re not it’s not
surrounded by traffic right one of the one of the things we’ve talked about is that instead of just a road that runs
through uh if you don’t need it for vehicular circulation all the time is that more of a pedestrian prominade that
can serve uh food trucks to drive to wherever they’re going to go but isn’t part of the regular vehicular
circulation and then how do we integrate in the food truck idea in your plan it seems to be very isolated and here’s the
spot and we go here and and that might be what you really want or do you want to have it integrated into the the
overall flow of the park and those are just again conversations we want to be able to have with you um going forward
on on what’s the goal and and using the food trucks as a community Builder also so you know maybe there’s a a light
structure or something that you know gives you some cover um that kind of becomes a g Gathering space for people
so maybe they go there and they have coffee in the morning maybe they kids are going there to study or something uh
maybe there’s a a fire pit or something so again activating all the spaces okay
maybe no fire pit um but
[Music] um but but activating the you know the site again
so it’s used 247 in all times of the
year was that
next Pavilion ample theater okay so so the Outdoor Theater actually I’m going to hand this over to Tony because I
think he’s gonna tell us more about this better than I can so these are just a couple of
examples of you know outdoor pavilions and and keeping them wide open so that
when they’re not being used for performance kids can run around and
there is it’s not so high that they have if they fall off they’ll hurt themselves uh keeping them open during the day and
then bringing in infrastructure portable performance lighting sound when you need
it so I mean that’s part of our conversation is do you want to own all that gear or not you want to rent it um
there’s a lot to be said for renting things like that because you don’t have to maintain it and when they go out of style you just rent the new one um
so having an indoor outdoor Flex space and and even when you know the the phase
whatever phase it is where you decide to build a multi-purpose indoor theater it
can have an indoor outdoor aspect as well um so that can be folded into the
planning of where it’s located you know and maybe the outdoor part of it
actually gets built first and then you add on the building and that will make it a year round performance space which
would be tremendously exciting but that’s another mag magnitude of commitment financially um so we
understand that um I think doing Simple Things uh to create place to create
focus and acoustically for a performer to be able to project out whether
they’re a voice or an instrument to the crowd and for everybody to see well um
those are the ingredients that we’ll try to mix in and and come up with the the perfect batter and bake it properly and
give you the delicious cake of an Amphitheater well I don’t know where I came up with that i’ had a quick
question have you built an Ampitheater before or or any kind of performance space like this has has yes
yes we haven’t built outside space performing space lately in town we have
we have gazebos and we have small out buildings but not but not of this scale
no right so so I think one of next door in bridgport one of the things that our team does bring is that experience to
not only just build the structure but also give you some guidance and ask the right questions through that design process because once you own it who’s
going to operate it and how do you run it what we’ found in all the communities we’ve done these is the ones that are
the most successful have an organization that’s set up and maybe even people employed by
the town to run those and get the events going and all that sort of stuff that again we can bring that expertise so
we’re asking the right question we’re not just at the end of the day here’s your lean to roof that you can put a
stage on and you can plug a microphone in but it’s how do you as a town operate this facility when you’re when when we
turn over the keys and you’re ready to use
it so we’ve talked a lot about outdoor space and I know this might be a further
phase but you know we’re we’re well versed in doing indoor spaces um but
bringing in daylight uh is is something that that’s a wonderful thing to do and it’s not
something to be afraid of um during performances of certain types it’s perfectly appropriate for music for
instance but we also understand sometimes you want to make it dark to do a show for utilizing lighting and other
special effects to highlight them so there’s a way to do both um so you know
we knowing that a permanent building is a ways down the road I don’t I don’t necessarily think we need to dwell on it
but if you want to ask me questions at the end that’d be great um so we can
move one other item I’d like to add to that is that the the theater we see this as a community resource so it’s not just
a Performing Art Center we see it being used for Town functions School functions
um so there’s going to be ancillary spaces that are going to be integrated into this so it’s not just a theater it
needs to serve multiple functional different uses because like like we said earlier you
know you’re not going to have a production every single day so it’s going to it’s going to be useful all the
time so Chris we’re bumping up against time and I know you wanted to talk about sel’s pond so maybe you can close with
that and then we can do the questions if that’s okay perfect perfect thank you um so with Selby P really we we see it and
we don’t know the the um the full understanding of it as far as like can
we touch it how are the neighbors reacting to it but we do see it as a resource that’s sort of hidden right now
um on whether you know it’s a walking path can it be used for artwork um you
know I think there’s just a a variety of different ways to activate that that uh sel’s pond in particular to become a
connector to the rest of the park um that’s that’s really underutilized right now it’s sort of a Hidden Gem that’s
that’s that no one sees um so I I and then I think we have a
couple other slides but you know not yeah we’ll open up the question but
one thing I will add is that I think what’s important to this is also understanding the scale and the you know
the fit for this project this is not a huge Pro it’s not Millennial Park it’s
not these giant performing art centers so I think we come into this with a real understanding of of the the scale and
the size and the budgets and the schedules of these things so you know being real about it and understanding
what some of the limits are but also being aspirational about what our end goal
is that’s thank you great presentation who starts John I think
it’s your
turn no I don’t think I have any questions thank you
this has been a lot a lot of fun for me because I’m usually over there so it’s been uh I know what you guys are going through um but the other interesting
part is that every time we’ve had somebody come up by something else comes to the foreground and two things were mentioned that I’m just curious if you
had any thoughts about it um one of them was mitigating sound you know didn’t
dawn on me until you mentioned it actually is that that that’s a problem because this is a very pretty dense
residential area so you know how do you contain that sound and then the other thing um I both my questions then
whoever wants to answer can answer you know years ago when Shakespeare with Shakespeare I remember as a kid cars
would just lined up for miles all throughout straford and it would take two to three hours to clear the
roads um that’s because we have had Traffic Engineers and nobody really cared about that nobody complained about
that that’s not true today and um I forgot who mentioned it but that could be a concern is that what do we do from
a traffic point of view those roads as you saw you know are pretty narrow we do
have a couple of entrance and access points that we can kind of spell in different directions but um have I know you did some preliminary studies Chris
have you done anything thinking about that so my two questions external sight issues and sound external
issues it it’s absolutely key issue and um I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the Blossom Music Center
outside of Cleveland Ohio it’s a huge site so I’m not comparing it but they
have mastered the traffic and they do it with a lot of volunteers and some police
and they move barriers around in a very clever way and is a very planned out
path for cars to come in and park and then exit and that’s certainly something
that needs to be considered for this site want to talk about sound too that was one of the things we talked about orientation of yeah I
mean face you know project the sound out over the river uh and it will dissipate
there and bother the people who live on the the other side of the river or the fish yeah it’s just Chris you know and
you know him right but that’s that’s a glib answer but it is certainly something to be considered because um
all of these uh outdoor pavilions that are close to residential areas have this
problem and you certainly don’t want to create that problem um and and face the
phone calls and emails and that was basically the first thing that we noted when we looked at the plan that you have
out was that orientation is putting all the sound towards the the closest neighbors and something we need to
address for sure I’ll also just say to the circulation question and the traffic uh so my office has been the master
planner for the Mystic Sea port for the last 15 years uh and you want to talk about thousand hundreds of thousands of
visitors that come through there they all come in on a two-lane road Route 27 um and when they put on big events uh we
have to get that traffic to flow in and flow out and deal with the state and all of that when we first started there the
neighborhood hated did the seaport because it’s in the middle of that neighborhood and now we’ve done enough
public engagement with the neighborhood that they come out and support the projects that we’re proposing and most of those are larger performance spaces
that which were in there and actually this weekend they’re running three different stages um all weekend long
with performance on all three stages uh throughout the campus and we’ll get that traffic flow in and out without it does
it cause some congestion yes but not like you know a football team getting
out all at once so we we control that as much as possible and and we do the same here and I would also note that you know
there’s almost a natural Amphitheater in the park right now that’s going to it’s there so if you put your your stage down
here and faced it out that way it’s it’s set up for it
already hi just thank you very much for your presentation but quick question um Tony where are you from your your firm
is where next stage is based in New Haven New Haven I personally just reloc to a
state okay would you be the one on this yeah would you be the one
on okay and and Joe you you’re
fromin New Haven thank you and you you all have worked together
I assume all of you I know you’re local which is cool no no I mean this this team we’ve worked together for God over
20 years on various projects um and actually that’s one of the things I want to highlight is that when we were
getting together and planning for this I had so much fun just discussing and
bantering and talking because it was such an easy flow of connectivity between ourselves because I think we all
have the same goal and desire and we this is this can be fun this this whole
experience can be fun and we want it to be fun it should be fun for you and
ourselves I really appreciated many of the comments you made and just kind of to explore them a little bit more you
know there’s this issue of having a Performing Arts Complex but there’s also an issue of having a day-to-day Park and
so I thought you commented on that really well okay because that is I think that’s very important and the other
Quagmire I think that I’ve experienced I’ve a lot of events on this property I probably put on like close to a 100
events you know on that property since the fire and it’s confusing space as it
is and my question is how do you how do you build something and can you build
something you know that is equally beautiful for I’m telling you if we work
so hard and if we get 100 people in front of a stage we’re jumping up and down so this is not a place that that
for the community the community is not going to reliably turn out a, or 500
or500 people that is a very high Watermark we’ve worked very hard on
events that produced three 400 people we’re very proud of that but in the space as it’s configured I gotta just
tell you it looked a little ridiculous it it just it looked like this empty park with and and it just all
this extra space and so how do you balance that outdoor space to
accommodate both things you know wonderfully Our Hope and the reason we got so excited about this is that it’s
not just the performance art right it is a Arts park at the end of the day and
that 365 days out of the year it is a beautiful intriguing inspiring place
that the public wants to go to as whether it’s just the neighborhood park when people out walking their dogs and
you know in the morning or kids coming out to play in the afternoon or people driving in just because they want to
take a stroll through this beautiful Water Front Park um and then we integrate in that performance space and
do it in a way that it doesn’t just dominate the entire site and and all of the things that come with it don’t
dominate the site the parking the the vehicular circulation right if that’s if you have the parking for Walmart out
there because of that one big event a year that Park is not going to feel like a park it’s going to feel like a parking
What your timeline is for making decisions? Soon, because really since 2019 when we started this process it’s been in front of us and so we’ve moved very quickly from July to now and we hopefully can move as quickly as possible going forward though we’ve heard a lot of interesting things today about permitting Etc. that might slow down that timeline but we’d hope hopefully like to have a decision within 90 days or so great okay thank you.


  1. Without visuals, this is extremely hard to follow. The public was able to attend the first presentation which was filmed and made available to the public who couldn’t attend afterwards. It was much easier to follow, was presented at the high school, the public invited and had a brief Q&A for the public. This is exceedingly lengthy and very hard to visualize. It is not really a public friendly presentation. The two presentations were vastly different, giving an advantage to the first presenter. Future presentations need to have equal treatment as the first, for the benefit of both the presenter and the public.


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