Bond Commission Approves $2 Million For Wadsworth, $1.5 Million For Front Street
By JENNA CARLESSO
June 04, 2012
HARTFORD —— The state bond commission on Monday approved $2 million for continued renovations to the Wadsworth Atheneum and $1.5 million for the Front Street district development project, which is part of Adriaen's Landing.
The money will help fund improvements to 54 galleries and 20 public spaces at the Wadsworth. The effort is part of a larger renovation project that began in 2010.
The project is currently in its second phase, museum officials said, which focuses on interior improvements. The first phase, which ran from spring 2010 through fall 2011 and cost about $16 million, dealt mostly with exterior renovations like roof repairs, waterproofing and painting.
The second phase will include floor and skylight replacements and lighting improvements, said the museum's director, Susan L. Talbott.
The repairs will be made on a "staggered" basis, Talbott said, meaning the money raised through grants and private donations will be spent as it is received, and galleries will be re-opened as the improvements are completed.
Some of the museum's galleries have been closed for years, she noted.
The Wadsworth already raised about $4 million for the second phase of the project — including the bond commission money — and officials hope to take in as much as $12 million, Talbott said. The work is expected to be completed in late 2014.
"This is a major step forward with the fundraising," Talbott said Monday. "We're really making all of these galleries that have been closed to the public into state-of-the-art spaces."
The bond commission also approved funding for the second phase of Hartford's Front Street development project. The money will be used for lighting and sidewalk construction, and to help support the creation of 115 new housing units and 27,500 square feet of retail space, said state Rep. Kelvin Roldan, D-Hartford, who has advocated for the funding.
Roldan called the contributions Monday a "big boost" for the city projects.
William McCue, chairman of the Capital City Economic Development Authority, which oversees Adriaen's Landing, could not be reached for comment.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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