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Valley Independent Sentinel

ANSONIA — The Board of Aldermen on Dec. 14 unanimously approved a $924,000 bid from a Wallingford construction firm to build a new senior center downtown.

The Aldermen awarded the bid to the Diversity Construction Group during a meeting held online because of COVID-19.

Officials said the firm has a long list of projects under its belt, including renovations to both Waterbury and North Haven’s fire houses, Buley Library at Southern Connecticut State University and UCONN Health Center.

The new senior center will be built within 65 Main St., a former commercial building that now houses the Ansonia Police Department.

The Aldermen in September initially approved a bid of $906,000 from Olympus Construction of Milford, the lowest bidder for the project. Officials also said construction would start soon. That was in September.

However, Economic Development Director Sheila O’Malley said the company ended up increasing its price by about $40,000.

At the meeting, O’Malley said construction was scheduled to start quickly, and will likely take four to six months from start to finish.

Voters at a November 2016 bond referendum approved a new senior center at a cost of $500,000.

That number was based on fair market rent because we thought that the city would lease space and it was based on comparables at the time,” O’Malley said. ​The cost of materials and labor has since gone up, and 65 Main St., while it was a smart idea to purchase through eminent domain, is costly to refurbish. The cost of the senior center includes the new windows and roofing, electrical and lighting. All of the things that were done to the entire building are borne out in the costs of the new police department and the Senior Center.”

Voters initially approved $12 million for a new police department. The Aldermen approved an additional $3.1 million in spending in 2020.

According to officials, the 8,500-square-foot senior center will include in part, a 3,000 square-foot open space for Bingo, lunches, large gatherings and more; multi-purpose room with glass dividing partition to make it smaller or larger as needed; administrative offices; large kitchen, access to gym facilities shared with police, a computer room, card lounge, arts and crafts room and other amenities.

Ansonia is still awaiting word from Derby officials on whether they plan to join forces and create a regional senior center. Separate law firms hired by the cities are negotiating a potential agreement.

About Diversity Construction Group

Diversity Construction Group (DCG) is a Construction Management company based in Wallingford, CT. As a full-service General Contractor, we specialize in both public and private projects that leave a lasting impact on the community. Since our establishment in 2011, we have successfully completed a multitude of contracts that we take great pride in showcasing. These projects encompass a wide range of areas, including school renovations, historical restorations, ADA improvements, and the construction of state-of-the-art athletic fields.

At DCG, we recognize that our success is built upon the foundation of our highly skilled workforce. Our employees boast extensive experience in all facets of commercial construction, from the initial stages of pre-construction to the final stages of project closeout. We are dedicated to fostering a culturally diverse and inclusive work environment, which is why we actively seek out and collaborate with minority and women-owned subcontractors. By embracing diversity, we believe that we can achieve greater innovation, creativity, and excellence in every project we undertake.