Bidding open for construction of homeless shelter

New London - The New London Homeless Hospitality Center has begun accepting bids to build a new center at the former Sts. Peter & Paul Polish National Church on State Pier Road.

According to a legal advertisement posted Wednesday in The Day, bidders have until 2 p.m. Jan. 4 to submit sealed proposals. Thereafter, bids will be read aloud at the office of Lindsay Liebig Roche Architects LLC in New London.

The property is located between Huntington Street and State Pier Road. It includes a half-acre of land, the former rectory (2,394 square feet plus an attic and basement), the two-story church (3,744 square feet), and a small outdoor storage building. All three buildings are set back from both roads.

According to Catherine Zall, the center's executive director, the new facility will house a daytime center, a 25-bed emergency shelter, a separate 15-bed facility for clients with acute medical and/or mental health conditions, a space for the Community Health Center outreach, and office space.

Zall said the cost of the project is a little more than $1 million. The project is being funded by $500,000 in state bonding, with the remaining balance raised through fundraisers, private donations and other pledges. She said most of the money has been secured.

The homeless hospitality center currently operates its night shelter at St. James Episcopal Church on Federal Street. The daytime center is located on the lower floor of the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Jay Street. The new center would consolidate these facilities.

A mandatory pre-bid conference for contractors will be held at the site, at 730 State Pier Road, at 1 p.m. Dec. 18.

"It's been a long time coming," said Zall. "We are excited. We hope to break ground about a month after the bids come in."


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