Nine months after fire destroyed a much-anticipated addition to Milford’s Silver Sands State Park, construction crews are back at work to replace it.
The buildings, which included concessions, a bathroom and changing area, elevated outdoor seating, and a lifeguard office, were supposed to open last Memorial Day weekend.
Walkers who take the Silver Sands boardwalk can now see a new frame constructed for one of the buildings.
“This is really nice, this to me is like optimistic for the community that they’re going to rebuild,” said Loreen Primiano, of Milford, as she passed by during a New Year’s Day walk.
The construction work originally began in 2018. Then, fire destroyed the nearly-completed buildings in March. The investigation into what caused the fire was inconclusive due to the intensity of the flames, which quickly ripped through the wood-framed structures.
“I was really very upset about the fire damage,” said Milford resident Liz Kennard.
“To see that burnt down, it was such an eyesore, to think all that money and funding that went into it and then to see it looking like that,” added Primiano.
The $9 million project wasn’t without controversy. When the project was first pitched there were concerns about traffic and parking.
“And, too many people littering and making a mess,” said Mary Ambriscoe, also of Milford.
Some opponents had a change of heart once they saw the buildings come close to completion.
“Seeing the level of expertise that was used, the level of good materials that were used, I think that people were happy with what it is and it did not disturb the environmental feel here,” Kennard pointed out.
“I’m very happy. I’m looking forward to it,” said Primiano.
There’s no guarantee the project will be finished by Memorial Day weekend, but Tom Tyler, the director of Connecticut’s State Parks said construction crews will be able to work through the winter as long as it doesn’t get too cold or snowy.