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Gilbane-Hunt Lands Worcester Ballpark Construction Manager Contract

New Worcester ballpark concept

Gilbane-Hunt, a joint venture combining local Gilbane Building Company and national firm Hunt, was recommended as construction manager for Polar Park, the new Worcester (MA) ballpark for the relocating Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League).

A selection committee made the recommendation today. The selection committee was comprised of the lead architect from D’Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects; a representative from Skanska, the owner’s project manager; and three City staff. The Committee reviewed five proposals and interviewed all the firms before making a recommendation to the Worcester Redevelopment Authority based on qualifications. As a condition of the contract, Gilbane-Hunt is fully committed to the WRA’s Responsible Employer & Inclusionary Participation Policy.

The WRA will vote on the recommendation at its next scheduled meeting on Tuesday, March 19 at 8 a.m., according to a press release issue by the city.

Both Gilbane Building Company and Hunt have extensive experience working on complex ballpark projects across the country, especially at the Triple-A level. Gilbane has completed projects at landmark venues such as Fenway Park and Cleveland’s Progressive Field, while Hunt has worked on nine Triple-A facilities across the country and more than 30 Major League ballparks. Gilbane has also completed 20 projects in Worcester, including the Sports and Recreation Center, Parking Deck/Playing Fields and Residence Hall/Garage at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in addition to the Worcester Trial Court Complex, Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, the parking garage at Union Station and the construction of North High School.

“With the addition of Gilbane-Hunt as Construction Manager, we’ve assembled the final piece of our All Star Team that will bring Polar Park to life in April 2021,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “Their impressive resume of work both nationally, and locally here in Worcester, really speaks for itself. I extend my sincere thanks to the Selection Committee as well as the Worcester Red Sox for their work in evaluating the proposals.”

The Worcester Red Sox offered the following statement regarding the decision: “Although the Worcester Red Sox are not voting members of the Selection Committee, members of our front office sat through all five candidates’ exceptional presentations. We support the Committee’s recommendation and look forward to working with the Gilbane-Hunt team, which has both deep experience in sports and baseball and substantial local ties.”

Polar Park is expected to cost $86-$90 million, and is envisioned as the anchor of an 18-acre, $240-million redevelopment initiative. The funding formula for the ballpark calls for the City of Worcester to borrow $100.8 million ($70.6 million in general obligations bonds, $30.2 in bonds backed by team rent payments) to cover construction costs and PawSox owners paying $6 million toward construction. Rent payments are pegged at a little over a million dollars annually, for a total of $30.2 million over 30 years. Construction is slated to begin this summer and lead to a 2021 opening, while the PawSox will spend the 2019 and 2020 seasons at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium.

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