New London Mayor Michael Passero has doggedly pursued the goal of constructing a community center, from his time on the City Council and through two terms as mayor. In 2016, just months after his election as mayor, Passero faced a humbling defeat when the council blocked his proposal to buy back the former Edgerton School property — it had been sold into the private sector — as the site for a community center.
The mayor learned his lesson. He had asked the council to buy in before he had a plan to sell them on, only the broadest of concepts — a community center. Instead of public support, he faced neighborhood opposition.
Passero’s new plans, unanimously approved by the council on Monday, are more ambitious but also more solidly grounded. The community recreation center is to be built in the Fort Trumbull area, a 62,000-square-foot facility spanning nearly seven acres.
The plan laid out by the consulting group Brailsford & Dunlavey, hired by the city for $140,000, would prioritize youth development and activities but offer something for all segments of this diverse community — families, the growing number of young professionals, seniors, and empty nesters looking to maintain a healthful lifestyle.
This is an excerpt from an article originally published by The Day. Read the full piece here.