Elevator fixed at Ridgefield’s congregate housing

The elevator is working again at the town’s 34-unit congregate housing building for senior citizens. The elevator in the building off Prospect Ridge Road had been out of service 13 days.

“The elevator is now operating at the RHA congregate building,” Housing Authority Chairman Frank Coyle said in an email Tuesday evening, Oct. 29. “...We regret the difficulties this has caused the residents but are thankful for their good cheer and understanding.”

The elevator was back in service at about 5 p.m. that Tuesday, following repairs by Kone Elevator, Coyle said.

The elevator in the four-story Prospect Ridge congregate building had been completely out of service since Oct. 17, and working only on and off for a week before that, with problems dating back to Oct. 11. Over the weekend of Oct 19 to 21 Ridgefield firefighters were stationed at the housing complex for several hours a day, helping residents up and down the stairs.

“We will immediately review in detail what has happened during this period in order to develop plans to prevent future outages as well as improve recovery procedures, ” Coyle said. “After over a decade of no elevator outages exceeding three hours, we view this situation and its impact on the residents as unacceptable.”

Coyle expressed gratitude on behalf of the Ridgefield Housing Authority (RHA) to numerous people who’d helped throughout the difficult situation at the senior apartment building at Prospect Ridge by the corner of Halpin Lane.

“The RHS commissioners also thank: The RHA staff led by Phil Sfraga who used every means available to seek resolution while also helping residents with laundry and food deliveries;

“The volunteers who climbed stairs to deliver lunches to residents who could not reach the dining room;

“Ridgefield Fire Chief Jerry Myers and the firemen who helped residents down and up the stairwells with great kindness and care, and First Selectman Rudy Marconi and Selectman Bob Hebert for their support in arranging for the help from the Fire Department as well as for their advice and support.”

Coyle signed off on the email on behalf of Ridgefield Housing Authority Commissioners Vincent Liscio, Jan Hebert, John Kukulka, and resident representative Elaine Freistadt, as well as himself.

The congregate housing building off Prospect Ridge is an expansion of the old stone structure known as “the novitiate” because it was home to the Holy Ghost Fathers before being bought by the town and serving, for a time, as the Board of Education headquarters, before being expanded into senior citizen housing. The original turn-of-the-century era mansion was purchased by the Holy Ghost Fathers in 1922 from the Matlock Cheeseman estate.