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Bristol to Seek Bids for Proposed Maritime Center on Waterfront

The former Naval Reserve armory has been a community center for decades.

A request for proposals (RFP) to design and build the proposed maritime center in the former Naval Reserve armory on Bristol’s waterfront is expected to be sent out soon.

The maritime center will take the place of the community center, which is moving to the former Quinta-Gamelin Army Reserve building in Colt State Park. It will be built with an $861,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a matching grant from Bristol, according to eastbayri.com.

Getting the former armory off of Thames Street up to building codes is the first step of the $1.75 million conversion project, according to Diane Williamson, Bristol community development director. 

Bristol’s capital projects committee is still determining the scope of work and what it wants to include in the maritime center.

The building dates to 1896. Bristol has been using it as a community center for decades. 

Acquiring the federal grant began when Roger Williams University students did a feasibility study in 2012 through the college’s Community Partnership Center. That study estimated the $1.75 million cost of the conversion to a maritime center. 

A pre-bid hearing is expected to be held in late January. A bid opening is expected to take place in February.

Kirsten VanDijk December 30, 2013 at 07:36 AM
It would be nice to have this building on the National Register of Historic Places.
Brooksie December 30, 2013 at 11:11 AM
While I applaud them wanting to make good use of this historic building, I question putting the youth center so far from the center of town. Kids that really needed the youth center could walk to it. Putting the youth center in Colt Park where the town kids can't easily get to it? It's a nice idea to have a youth center, but the neighborhood it's going in doesn't really need it. Also, where are the cars going to park that will use the maritime center? Will they be pushing out the people who pay for dock space and need a place to park? Just some thoughts to be considered.
Steve A December 30, 2013 at 06:27 PM
What purpose will the maritime center serve?
Brooksie December 31, 2013 at 09:00 AM
Steve A. Not sure the purpose of a Maritime Center, we already have a sailboat museum off of Hope St. Looks like just another attempt at making Bristol the "other Newport".

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