BREWER, Maine — A few slight cost-reducing adjustments were made to the designs for a community center, and local contractor Nickerson & O’Day was selected Monday afternoon in the second round of bidding to build the facility, Brewer Housing Authority Executive Director Gordon Stitham said Tuesday.
“We selected Nickerson & O’Day as the lowest bidder at $1,946,844,” he said.
The paperwork should be signed next week sealing the deal, and work should begin next month, Stitham said.
The housing authority learned in September 2011 that it was one of five chosen from a pool of 58 organizations nationwide that applied for a portion of $15 million in federal funds to build preschool, adult education or job training facilities.
“They have 280 days to complete [the construction],” Stitham said, explaining that the funding had a deadline for use. “We had four years to spend the money, so we’re in the timeframe.”
The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development awarded Brewer $2,491,690 to build the one-story community center, which will have classrooms for housing authority residents to take classes to further their education, learn about homeownership and other opportunities; as well as a daycare run by Penquis of Bangor.
The 11,700-square foot community center will be situated next to the Chamberlain Place senior housing project at 258 Chamberlain St. that Nickerson & O’Day is currently building. The senior housing project has 32 rental units, 26 of which will be for low-income residents, and should be finished by May or June, Stitham said.
The housing authority’s executive director admitted he was nervous when the first request for bids on the community center were all over budget and is happy that a local firm has been selected and construction will soon start.
“We’re under way,” he said.