NEW HAVEN BREAKS GROUND ON THE BOATHOUSE AT CANAL DOCK
(New Haven, CT) Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro were joined by officials from the Federal Highway Administration and the State of Connecticut’s Departments of Transportation and Economic and Community Development to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new community boathouse, the Boathouse at Canal Dock.
The construction of the Boathouse at Canal Dock will be completely funded by the federal and state government as mitigation for the loss of a historic structure, the Adee boathouse, which was built 1914 and demolished 2009 to allow for the construction of the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge.
“Of the many improvements that we’ve made in New Haven, this latest one holds special significance. For over five decades--since the construction of Interstate 95 along New Haven’s harbor—our city has been cut off from one of its greatest natural resources, the New Haven Harbor,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “The construction of the Boathouse at Canal Dock takes steps to remedy that and will provide residents and visitors to New Haven the opportunity to enjoy the harbor and water recreation,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr.
The Boathouse at Canal Dock will be used for public access to the waterfront, for boating access and to tell the story of New Haven’s natural and cultural environment, of the Harbor, and for recreational programs. It will provide a central facility in New Haven for water recreation including youth rowing programs, public boating programs, and marine education programs and exhibits.
Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 3rd District, noted, “The new Canal Dock Boathouse has been a long time coming and it is great to see work begin. It reflects the history and design of the original Adee boathouse, respects the waterfront and benefits the entire community. I am so proud to see this project taking shape; it will strengthen our city and bond us together for decades to come.”
The Boathouse at Canal Dock will be constructed on New Haven Harbor directly north of historic Long Wharf Pier. Canal Dock was a shipping pier, which existed at this location from the 1800s into the 1940s. It was originally built as the terminus of the Farmington Canal Line; the place where freight was transferred from Canal barges to sailing ships. When the Canal was converted to a railroad, freight transshipment continued to take place here.
The platform and the building Construction will occur in two phases: first the platform and then the building. The platform, which is just beginning the early phases of construction, will be completed in approximately one year. The Boathouse building is 90% designed and will be bid in summer 2014. Construction for the building phase will take approximately 15 months.
The platform that the boathouse will sit on is 48,000 square feet. The building is two stories, 30,000 sf. The lower floor is below the flood elevation to allow its use for boat storage. The upper story contains meeting rooms, offices and support facilities for the lower floor uses such as bathrooms and locker rooms. In addition to lower floor boating uses, the City has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with The University of New Haven to bring a portion of their Marine Sciences program to the Boathouse. This program currently works with New Haven’s Schooner, Inc. on youth environmental education programs that are open to the public.
President of the University of New Haven, Steven Kaplan, noted, “The University of New Haven is thrilled with the new partnership with the City of New Haven. Bringing a portion of our Marine Sciences program to the new Boathouse presents the University with a wonderful opportunity to provide more field work experience to our students but to also expand our current programming and offerings surrounding environmental education and exploration for the general public.”
Additionally, the City of New Haven has been working with Community Rowing Inc., based out of Watertown, Massachusetts. This organization runs community-based programming that introduces and teaches rowing to about 1400 people a month. The organization utilizes the fees from paying members, as well as grants, to support rowing programs for elementary and high school students, as well as partnering with the Veterans’ Administration in running programs for disabled veterans.
Community Rowing Inc. works with a number of Boston high schools and also provides tutoring on site. Community Rowing Inc. tutors participants at their boathouse site (much like LEAP does in New Haven) and has a high success rate for college entry and graduation for their scholarship program participants.
The exterior and the interior of the facility will display interpretive information about New Haven history. Fragments of the Adee boathouse will be incorporated into the building. In addition to the Boathouse and the rebuilt Canal Dock Pier, and future floating docks, including adaptive docks for use by handicapped individuals, will be available. Boats and boating programs of all types, including crew, kayak, canoe paddling and sailing will have access to the water from the boathouse. The public will have access to platform for waterside strolls or events.
The Boathouse will be owned by the City but operated by a non-profit, which has already been formed: the Canal Dock Corporation. Similar to other public facilities such as the Carousel at Lighthouse Park or the Walker Skating Rink, the costs associated with running the boathouse will be covered by its revenues.
The project includes streetscape improvements for the area immediately surrounding the boathouse, including a pull-off/drop-off area; minor adjustments to the east curb line, a wide concrete walkway, landscape plantings, railings along the bulkhead, a gateway sign and amenities such as benches, trash receptacles, street lights and bike racks for general use and because, upon completion of its final phase, the Farmington Canal Line Greenway will end at the Boathouse on the waterfront.