Opening Of Darien's Mather Communtiy Center Delayed To Next Week

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After years of debate, planning and construction, the Mather Community Center at Darien Town Hall is scheduled to open on Monday, July 21.
After years of debate, planning and construction, the Mather Community Center at Darien Town Hall is scheduled to open on Monday, July 21. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

DARIEN, Conn. -- The Mather Community Center at Darien Town Hall is scheduled to open its doors next Monday.

The senior/community center had previously planned to open this week after moving out of its old Edgerton Street location last week. But First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said employees requested a few extra days to organize and get the center ready for use. So the opening was pushed back to July 21.

"It's great, it's really terrific," Stevenson said of the new senior center, which will also function as a community center. Construction has been completed, and she said the town just needs two punch list items completed by the developer. "Other than that, it's ready to go."

The Edgerton Street building closed its doors last week after more than 30 years as the site of the town's Senior Center.

The Senior Center was a major component of the project commonly referred to as "the Shuffle," which included moving the Senior Center to the old Board of Education offices near Town Hall, and moving the Board of Education to the old library on Leroy Avenue. The $7 million project was debated in town government for more than a decade before being approved in 2011.

"I can't tell you how happy I am to see this vision to become a reality," Stevenson said. "I'm eager to see users in it and enjoying it, and to have them in proximity to Town Hall, where we provide a number of other services."

The new Senior Center will have a soft opening next week, with a grand opening celebration planned for the fall.

Stevenson suggested hosting the grand opening on the night of the September meeting of the Representative Town Meeting. That plan would allow the RTM members, who Stevenson said were "instrumental" in getting the project approved, a chance to see the new center before the meeting.

"I know in short order, the community will see how beneficial it is, not only for our seniors but also for the community at large," she said.

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