The U.S. Army received a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the Middletown Armed Forces Reserve Center. The permit allows the project to move into the construction phase while preserving aquatic resources.
The reserve campus will be built at a former industrial site currently known as Cucia Park on Smith Street in Middletown. The Army exercised the option to purchase this city-owned site for $2 million. The site contains approximately 42 acres and is zoned industrial.
“The 404 permit opens the door for construction to start on the Armed Forces Reserve Center and protects wetlands and wildlife,” said District Commander Col. Keith Landry, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville. “The project shows the importance of partnering with the Middletown residents; local, state, Connecticut National Guard and Congressional representatives; and the collaboration with state and federal environmental organizations such as the New England District Corps of Engineers.”
Landry signed the permit, as applicant, that was issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act by the New England District, on March 26, 2010. The Corps issued a public notice on Aug. 11, 2009 and the application was reviewed in collaboration with Federal water resource agencies.
As part of the completed findings of the environmental assessment, the 404 permit requires wetland mitigation for approximately 1.6 acres of wetlands which will be impacted on the Cucia Park site.
The mitigation site for the impacted wetlands will be located on 52 acres on Boardman Lane. Under the mitigation requirements, the former industrially-zoned property will be permanently protected against development.
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $51.5 million contract to KBE Ventures, A Joint Venture of KBE Building Corporation & Derita Construction Co., Inc., for the reserve center construction. The two companies are headquartered in Farmington, Conn., and Middletown respectively.
The Armed Forces Reserve Center campus will include a 164,000 square-foot primary training facility, 35,000 square-foot organizational maintenance shop, and a 3,890 square-foot storage building. Citizen Soldiers will use this campus for classroom training for distance learning and computer simulation, human resource and administration offices.
The contract includes associated parking areas, walkways and access roads. Approximately 100 full-time personnel are expected to use the campus.
“The contract award, 404 permit and construction start are milestones for the project and emphasize what can be accomplished when residents, community and Congressional leaders and the Army work together,” Landry stated. “We promise to build a facility Middletown residents and Reservists can be proud of having in their community.”