CUMBERLAND — The Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission is ready to meet with Rycon Construction now that the state has approved selection of the Pittsburgh contractor for the agency’s new building on Virginia Avenue.

“We have a preconstruction meeting scheduled Wednesday,” said HRDC Deputy Director Dan Lewellen following the Maryland Board of Public Work’s approval of the lowest bidder for the job.

The board agreed to a state share of $560,000 for construction of a new Cumberland Senior Center by Rycon when it met Wednesday in Annapolis.

Rycon’s bid for the new facility to be built at 125 Virginia Ave. was $5.13 million.

Lewellen said the agreement with Rycon stipulates that the company will run its selection of subcontractors by the HRDC. In turn, HRDC has enlisted the help of city and county engineers who are familiar with builders in the area.

“We are sure they are going to use the local labor force,” he said.

The HRDC looks for construction to begin by mid-September. “We are actually going to peel back some asphalt,” Lewelln said. “Folks will actually see that this is for real.”

The 19,333-square-foot facility is to become the county’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED-certified, building.

Earlier this summer, HRDC began a capital campaign to raise $1 million toward the cost of the new building. HRDC Executive Director Courtney Thomas confirmed during a recent meeting with legislators that the project bids were $500,000 over budget.

In announcing the capital campaign to the community, HRDC Board of Directors chairman Gary Horowitz said the building will symbolize the renewal of South Cumberland, particularly Virginia Avenue, in partnership with the city.

Lewellen said the agency plans to host a block party at Smith Park in late September to do outreach for its energy programs and introduce HRDC to the neighborhood.

The facility is expected to open December 2009.

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