Request to Town Leadership RE: UConn Women’s Boathouse Project:
We hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. We are writing to you today as leadership at Coventry Lake Community Rowing, and concerned Coventry citizens deeply passionate about rowing, long term community access to rowing, and recreational water activities on Coventry Lake.
We believe that now, more than ever, our collective voices can make a significant impact on the matters that can affect us all.
In the past number of months, during confidential executive sessions, which are allowed under state statute, the University of Connecticut has engaged Town leadership in negotiations on an agreement permitting UConn to construct a new boat house for the UConn Women’s Crew (Rowing) Team at Patriots Park. This new boat house would replace an older existing boat house located at Patriots Park. We are in favor of UConn Women getting a new boathouse, but as a partner with the town and in consideration of our community needs first.
UConn is proposing the existing boat house be demolished and a significantly larger building be constructed in the same location. The location and proposed size of this project may directly impact the other rowing and aquatic programs in the area, with possible broader implications for the park use and the community. However, because negotiations and deliberations on the topic are occurring during executive session, it is difficult for the community to establish that UConn is under-taking a thorough, comprehensive review to identify, and more importantly, prevent any potential impacts on the other rowing, and aquatic programs that serve the community.
As UConn/Town negotiations progress, it has become increasingly clear that immediate action is necessary. It is with this sense of urgency and a strong desire to assure that the interests of Coventry Lake Community Rowing, Coventry Parks and Recreation Camp, UConn Men’s Rowing, EO Smith Rowing, UConn Sailing, and any consideration of future aquatic programs serving the community are protected. This is why we are reaching out to you today.
With the above said, and with this letter we are requesting that Town leadership apply diligent consideration to the following items and questions during these negotiations:
- Is it appropriate to form a review committee that adequately represents all the stakeholders that use this area and/or are directly or indirectly impacted by this proposed project? (Examples include Camp, CLCR/CHS, UConn Men’s Rowing, EO Smith Crew, Water-ski Team, Sailing, Fishing, Kayakers and other patrons of the park.)
- Tearing down the boathouse would remove an existing Town asset from the boating community. Have alternative locations been thoroughly and comprehensively reviewed that would avoid demolition of this town asset? If, for example, an alternate project location was chosen, then the existing building would be available for other community orientated programs.
- If ultimately the current project location is approved, is there a master area site plan that adequately takes into consideration the following site issues associated with the larger building?
- Impacts on other future planned expansion or changes at Patriots Park.
- Direct and easy access to the Lakeview Cove Area from Patriots Park frontage by the other rowing programs.
- Traffic flow, and trailer parking for the three other rowing programs (UConn Men, E.O. Smith High School, and Coventry Lake Community Rowing.)
- Staging and storage area for UConn Sailing Team.
- Staging and storage area, and out-building space for Coventry Lake Community Rowing.
- Shouldn’t this process trigger the development of a master plan for the broader Patriots Park area serving the community?
If you agree with the above statements and seek answers the questions posed, then we kindly request you to take a moment to sign this letter with us. We believe that with your signature, we can send an important message to decision-makers, urging them to take action and protect the interest of the rowing and aquatic programs that serve the Coventry community.
Please sign the following form by visiting https://coventrylakerowing.com/request-for-more-consideration-from-town-leadership/, and please feel free to share this letter with your friends, family, and colleagues who may also be interested in supporting this important cause and being able to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to consider signing to request due consideration and for your commitment to making our community a better place.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to reach out to Coventry Lake Community Rowing at email@example.com. Your support, feedback and ideas are greatly appreciated.