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Cost overruns reported on Dunkin’ Donuts Park

New Britain Rock Cats ballpark, Hartford

Cost overruns on a new downtown ballpark for the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) have been reported by the project manager, but no one in Hartford government is concerned that they will materially impact Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

About $4 million is slated to be pared from the $56-million project, as contractor Centerplan Cos. has identified of 60 items that will be trimmed from or altered in Dunkin’ Donuts Park, scheduled to open for the 2016 season.

The cost overruns, however, aren’t terribly serious: they represent less than 10 percent of the ballpark’s cost. Some of the items causing the overruns couldn’t be foreseen: for instance, an old building foundation was found on the ballpark site, and it needed to be removed before construction could proceed — an unanticipated cost that was part of the overruns. From the Hartford Courant:

The issue surfaced publicly on the same day city officials celebrated the installation of the first steel beams at the site of the ballpark, known as Dunkin’ Donuts Park, where the Double A Yard Goats will play.

After that upbeat event, Centerplan executives and others involved in the construction gathered down Main Street at city hall for the authority meeting — where the city’s independent monitor expressed concern that steel and other construction materials had been delivered late. That could push up overtime labor costs because of the project’s tight timeline, adding further to costs.

Despite the delivery delays, monitor Kevin G. Greene, executive vice president at International Facilities Group, said the ballpark is still set for “substantial completion” by March 11 as planned.

And, really, that’s the big issue for all involved. There doesn’t appear to be a backup plan if the new ballpark’s opening is delayed, as New Britain officials negotiate to bring another team to New Britain Stadium in 2016.

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