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State provides funding to flip a blighted property in New London for proposed recreation center

New London Mayor Michael Passero
Courtesy of the City of New London
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The City of New London has received over $1.2 million from the state to help remediate a blighted property for a new community recreation center.

Mayor Mike Passero said the financial support from the state will go a long way in helping to make the project happen.

“I think it’s a goal the city has wanted to achieve for many decades since we lost the YMCA back in the '80s,” Passero said. “We haven’t had indoor recreation facilities that were adequate to support this community, and it's going to become a reality now within the next two years.”

The money comes from the most recent round of funding from the state's Brownfield Remediation Program. About $18 million will help with the cost of cleaning up around 40 parcels of land in 13 towns and cities across Connecticut.

In New London, the new community recreation center will cost the city about $30 million. It will house an eight-lane indoor pool, a gymnasium and community meeting rooms. The center will be built on land occupied by the former Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

“We envision this center as really being the heart and soul of our community. This is where people will convene,” Passero said. “This is where everyone will meet and stay healthy and active and engaged in the community.”

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.