The aptly-named Center Block in North Haven is bounded by Church Street, Elm Street, Linsley Street, and Broadway. In addition to the historic 1886 Town Hall, it also contains the police station, fire department, library, and other municipal property. However, the ad-hoc acquisition of the parcels by the Town has resulted in a fragmented pattern of circulation and connectivity despite 80% of the land being under common ownership.
With the help of a DECD grant, the Town selected TPA to provide a Master Plan vision for the Center Block. The design process involved outreach to municipal staff at the library, fire department, and police department to better understand how these entities used the Center Block and how future improvements could better address their needs while improving the aesthetics and movement of people and vehicles. The resulting Master Plan is designed for a three-phase implementation as funds become available.
The first phase of work was designed to coordinate with ongoing site and building improvements for the North Haven Police Headquarters. The department indicated that they needed a more direct route for their emergency vehicles to reach Broadway instead of speeding through the library parking lot. The separation of the library parking lot from the new access road accomplishes both goals. The budget for construction was included in the DECD grant so that it could be built concurrently with the police headquarters project.
Other benefits of the first design phase include new shade and flowering trees, new drainage, and new LED lighting. Electrical and drainage components have been sized to accommodate future improvement phases. New sidewalks will improve pedestrian connectivity in the vicinity of the library and historical society. Construction will begin in July 2018 and conclude by the end of the year.