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Norwalk's McMahon Gets a New Bus Shelter

NORWALK, Conn. ? When students return to Brien McMahon next week, they’ll see a brand-new bus shelter on Highland Avenue in front of their school. This is no ordinary bus shelter, though.  A year in the making, the steel and glass structure has no advertising and was entirely free for the school and the city of Norwalk. The cost was covered by a grant and donations.

Completed in July, the project was spearheaded by Lynn Massey, co-president of the McMahon’s Parents Club, and Fred Lione, a retired Rowayton resident, who, with his wife, voluntarily tends the strip of garden in front of the school.

Massey had been thinking about a bus shelter for a while. “There are a lot of students who take the city bus home after school who stand in the rain and snow.”

Even though it’s summer, The Daily Norwalk spotted a whole family sitting on the bus shelter's long bench waiting for a ride home.

Typically, private companies will put up a shelter for free as long as they can control the advertising. But in this case, neither the neighbors nor the school wanted a bus shelter covered with advertising.

“Since it is in a residential area, we have to make it as attractive as possible,” says Massey. The shelter is one of the few in the city without advertising.

Through Louis Shulman at the Norwalk Transit District , Massey learned of a federal enhancement grant that gives money for bus shelters and bike racks. Shulman says the grant covered 80 percent of the cost of the shelter, about $6,000, and the community had to come up with the rest.

Lione, who spent his career in the construction business, lined up a donor for the installation of the shelter. Devine Bros , a local construction company, contributed the cement for the base. An anonymous donor provided the labor, and the Norwalk Parks and Recreation Department dug the hole for the base.

Massey says several city departments participated in the creation of the shelter. “It was a true collaboration.”

Brien McMahon administrator Scott Hurwitz was the school contact for the shelter, but he credits Massey and Lione entirely for its construction. “They set their mind to something and got it done,” he says. “It was something that was needed for a long time.”

Have you seen the new shelter?  Will you use it?

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