New London approves contract to build $40 million community center

Construction on the city’s long-awaited community center is months away from becoming a reality. The City Council Tuesday voted to approve a $30 million construction contract and $2.9 in American Rescue Plan Act funds for the first phase of what now is a $40 million project. The project totals three phases. Reyes said there have been many approvals before Tuesday for architects, bonding, engineers and construction managers, but the council vote was to build the center. He projects construction to start in the next two months and for the building to be finished Nov. 2024. For the past two years, the city worked to keep the budget for the building at $30 million. Reyes said he didn’t want to put blame on the COVID-19 pandemic, but cost factors today are just not the same. Downes Construction Company, LLC, the firm managing the construction of the center, sought bids for the project in the fall of 2022. Reyes said the city averaged five to seven bids per vendor, which he said shows the city maximized its ability to get the best price from the most qualified vendor.

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