Government Reader Contributed

Two West Hartford Projects Receive Funding from State Bond Commission

Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Wolcott Park and Noah Webster House have received a total of more than $1 million in Bond Commission funding for infrastructure projects.


The Town of West Hartford and the Noah Webster House received notice on Sept. 21, 2018, that their requests for infrastructure improvements were funded by the State Bond Commission, thanks to West Hartford’s legislators Rep. Joe Verrengia and Senator Beth Bye.

In 2016-17, the Town of West Hartford began to develop a renovation plan for Wolcott Park. In collaboration with the Community Research and Design Collaborative of the University of Connecticut’s Department of Landscape Architecture, the town conducted extensive community outreach to numerous stakeholders and park neighbors that resulted in the 2017 Comprehensive Master Plan for Wolcott Park.

“Local parks are the gateways to healthy, prosperous and connected communities. Through implementation of this park plan, we hope to encourage and build local stewardship of this neighborhood park and enhance the quality of life in the community,” said Helen Rubino Turco, director, Department of Leisure Services & Social Services.

The $750,000 grant from the State Bond Commission will allow West Hartford to upgrade the park’s lighting infrastructure, improve parking, install a handicapped accessible restroom building, improve trails and routes throughout the park with ADA compliant paths, install a new playscape, and redesign the parking lots to address insufficiencies, traffic flow, and handicapped parking. The renovations to Wolcott Park will provide effective, efficient and high quality leisure facilities, with amenities and programs for residents and visitors of all abilities.

“Wolcott Park has been enjoyed by many residents over the years, and it is great to see this renovation plan moving forward,” Verrengia said. “With all of the comprehensive improvements these funds will facilitate, it will greatly improve on an already beautiful park.”

“I am thankful for Representative Verrengia and Senator Bye for two successful awards from the bond commission,” said Mayor Shari Cantor.

“Representative Verrengia’s work to provide funding for significant improvements to Wolcott Park will benefit this neighborhood park and the whole town,” she continued.

Additionally, Senator Bye has secured bonding for improvements to the Noah Webster House.

The Noah Webster House was awarded $302,700 for upgrades and improvements to the historic house and museum. This will include work done to repair Noah Webster’s c. 1747 birthplace, replace the roof on the museum portion of the building, exterior paint for the property, a new HVAC system, renovations to the Hamilton Gallery (the space used for most school and public programs), renovations to the downstairs bathrooms (which haven’t been updated since construction in the 1970s), updates to office spaces throughout the building, and improvements to the grounds (such as new fences, lighting, etc.).

“These investments and infrastructure upgrades will help to preserve this historic treasure,” said Cantor.

“The funds provided by the Bond Commission will allow us to make repairs to the historic house that are necessary to keep it in good shape for future generations. The much-needed improvements are long overdue and will help to make the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society a more comfortable and accommodating place for the community,” said Jennifer Matos, executive director, Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society.

“We’re so happy that the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is getting the attention it deserves. We are fortunate here in West Hartford to have the birthplace of an American founding father. Noah Webster’s legacy of language and education continues to impact our lives as Americans every day. And he’s a product of West Hartford, the community that gave him the qualities he needed to succeed, and continues to shapes the lives of others,” said Matos.

“I am grateful to the State Bond Commission and the State of CT for their support for these two very important projects,” said Cantor.

“The quality of life in West Hartford and in Connecticut in general consistently ranks as one of the highest qualities of life in America. It’s not just our excellent schools and our clean environment, but our continued investment in public amenities like parks,” Bye said. “Parks and playgrounds are places where families and neighborhoods can come together to enjoy the outdoors and build the bonds that make for a stronger community.

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