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A Thanksgiving Update from the Family Y

From all of us at the Family Y, we wish you and your family the happiest of Thanksgiving holidays. We also offer our most sincere thanks for your continued patience and understanding. Despite our current travails — or maybe because of them — we count our blessings and treasure all that we have, and what we hope to soon regain.

We are continuing to put the pieces of the intricate puzzle that is our Family Y back in place. If all goes well, we are hopeful that we will be able to safely resume limited operations sometime next week.

When we are able to give you an exact date of our re-opening, and the services we will be able to provide at that time, we will let you know as soon as possible via email, on and other media.

Craig Pietrowicz, an employee of Northeast Generator in Bridgeport, looks at the damaged gym floor. Photo courtesy of Connecticut Post.

We are truly sorry for the disruption and inconvenience our temporary closure has caused our members and the community. As you may have read on the front page of the Connecticut Post this weekend, our Family Y is just one of the buildings in downtown Westport that remain closed due to damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Status of Repairs

Progress continues, though not without hurdles — most of them due to the age of our facility and of the antiquated systems that run it.

A second external generator is now online and supplying power to more of our facility, allowing the workers to proceed with the difficult task of repairing, reinstalling and then testing critical parts. However, this temporary hookup necessitated additional repairs: the electrical feed from the panel to our hot-water system needed to be completely rewired.

Pat Costanzo, our senior director of Property and Facilities Management, continues to orchestrate the various teams at work throughout the building. Among the specific tasks at hand:
  • The replacement parts for the boiler that heats the Bedford Building have been installed. We expect to fire it up today (Tuesday) and check it for operational safety.
  • The new heater for the Stauffer Pool will be installed this week. Once it’s operational, we will be able to proceed with the days-long task of bringing the now-chilled water back up to a tolerable temperature.
  • A phalanx of blowers, fans and heaters continue to dry the Child Care Center, which was inundated by water. When that task is complete, we will begin rebuilding that space. (For a more detailed update about our Child Care Center, including an account of the various offers of support to help rebuild it, please click here.)
  • Repairs to the sprinkler and fire-alarm systems are ongoing and once they are completed and heat and hot water are restored, we will be able to bring the inspectors in to re-certify the facility for use by our Members, staff and community.
Classes & Programs

As we strive to resume operations, we encourage Y Members to continue utilizing other area YMCAs through the “Always Welcome at the YAWAY reciprocal program.

Also, please check our home page for the current list of classes & programs taking place at alternate sites.

Membership Credit Options

Allow us to repeat the following important membership information from our previous update:

Here is a pdf of a notice we are mailing to all Family Y Members that outlines credit options covering the period from our closure on Oct. 29 through our re-opening. Please let us know if you would like to make any of the choices offered by following the instructions provided in the letter.

If you have a specific question or would like to volunteer your support, please contact Rob Reeves directly, via or 203-226-8981, ext. 131. Note: Family Y email will not be available Tuesday evening through Wed., 9 am. We need to take the servers down as part of the electrical panel testing.

To view a brief video about our efforts to “Re-Build What Matters,” please click on the image below.

Support the Y

To support our Family Y’s efforts to rebuild as well as to continue to help us provide financial assistance so that local families in need have access to our programs and services, please click here to access our online donation form, or contact Paul Bernetsky, Chief Development Officer, at 203-226-8981, ext. 115 or (Use the Comment box to give us specific information about processing your gift. We thank you.)

More information about our Family Y, including photos, may be found at as well as the Y’s Facebook page