- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) - Demolition on the state office buildings in Waterbury that were flooded by Tropical Storm Irene is picking up speed, and construction of a new, somewhat smaller office complex is expected to begin in April.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to cover about $120 million of the $225 million cost of rebuilding in Waterbury, replacing the Vermont State Hospital with a new facility in Berlin, and moving the Agency of Natural Resources to Montpelier, the Burlington Free Press reported (www.burlingtonfreepress.com).

Work in Waterbury so far has included demolition of about 150,000 square feet of flooded office space.

The construction to begin in April is on a new and more flood-resilient 86,000-square-foot office building to house the Agency of Human Services.

“I think we will see the beginnings of foundations going in in April,” said Michael Stevens, the project manager. “It will be a little weather dependent.”

Fauna Hurley, executive director of the community development group Revitalizing Waterbury, said the 200 construction workers expected on the site in the spring will be welcome. Businesses in the village were hurt when flooding forced about 1,000 state workers to move out of their offices.

Local business leaders are ready to urge the new arrivals to eat at local restaurants and shop at local stores, she said.

“We will ramp up this kind of effort in the spring when 200 plus workers will be on the site every day,” she said.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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