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HARTFORD, CT- The Naugatuck Valley Development Corp., will receive a $45 million grant-in-aid package from the State of Connecticut that will help in its $189 million redevelopment effort in downtown Waterbury.

The State Bond Commission approved the grant package on Friday, May 31. Almost half of the grant funding, $22 million, is earmarked for a new 90,000-sf University of Connecticut campus and garage in downtown Waterbury. Other projects that are part of the revitalization effort on East Main St. include the renovation of the historic Palace Theater, the construction of a new downtown arts magnet school and the new Spring Street Garage.

Governor John G. Rowland announced the $45 million in state funding for the initiatives in Waterbury on May 28. He noted, “Our goal from the start has been to transform downtown Waterbury into something vibrant and to improve the quality of life throughout the city. These projects will accomplish that goal and I’m proud to see them moving forward.”

Construction on the new UCONN campus began in December 2001 and is scheduled to be completed by September 2003. The new 90,000-sf campus will include multiple buildings that will serve up to 1,200 students. The new arts magnet school nearby, which will cost $57 million to build, will serve 800 students from grades six through 12 when finished. The historic Palace Theater, which is now closed for renovations, will be able to seat 2,700 patrons once work is completed.

The redevelopment projects in Waterbury have been projected to cost approximately $190 million, including $22 million in UCONN funds, $57 million in construction funds earmarked for the magnet school and $65 million in previously authorized bonds, state officials say.

The State Bond Commission on May 31 also approved Governor Rowland’s request for an additional $3.5 million in grant funding to assist in the expansion project at the historic Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. The facility, one of the oldest operating public arts museums in the United States, according to a spokesman for Governor Rowland, is undergoing a $43.7 million expansion. Private contributors have donated $31.25 million for the campaign. The State of Connecticut had previously issued grants of $9 million for the project.

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