City allocates funds to design replacement for Bangor Auditorium

Posted July 12, 2010, at 11:02 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — City councilors on Monday unanimously approved a $763,000 appropriation for costs connected to the design of a 7,400-seat capacity arena to replace the aging Bangor Auditorium.

The city has tapped the Colorado-based architectural firm Sink Combs and Dethlefs and Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield to develop a schematic design based on last year’s market study. It will include a U-shaped arena adjacent to the existing auditorium as well as new conference space and pedestrian bridges over both Dutton Street and Main Street to Hollywood Slots.

The schematic design is expected to come back to the City Council by mid-October, at which time the city will have firm cost estimates and can decide whether it should move ahead to construction.

The market study concluded that an arena with 5,400 fixed seats, expandable to 7,400 seats, would best fit Bangor’s needs.

Initial estimates from the market study suggested that the proposed arena would cost at least $45 million to $50 million and that a revamped civic center could add at least another $12 million to $15 million.

City officials have not yet decided if the arena should include ice capabilities, at a cost of about $1.5 million.

According to the resolve authorizing the appropriation, Cianbro will receive $175,000 for its role in the design process, but that total will be rolled into the total cost if the city decides to build.

Sink Combs and Dethlefs will receive $573,000 plus reimbursement for such costs as travel, printing and long-distance telephone calls.

The city has about $7.5 million in Hollywood Slots proceeds saved up to apply to the arena. It expects to borrow the rest and pay it back through future slots revenue. The city also has contracted with Eastern Maine Development Corp. to help secure grant funding or private investments.

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