The State Bond Commission voted Friday to approve $32 million for a series of improvements to upgrade the aging former Hartford Civic Center in downtown Hartford.
The building, now known as the XL Center, plays host to the University of Connecticut basketball teams and is the former home of the Hartford Whalers professional hockey team.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday that it makes sense to make short-term improvements now because the state does not have any immediate plans for constructing a new arena.
\”What I\’m trying to do is stretch a very old facility,\’\’ Malloy told reporters at the state Capitol complex. \”It is one of the older facilities in the nation of its type. I\’m trying to get eight to 10 years out of it, quite frankly. Right now, the air conditioning system is in failure. Other systems in the building are in failure.\’\’
He added, \”There is no way that we could build a replacement facility overnight or quite frankly, in the next two years, for instance. So either we close it and have no functions being run in Hartford or we put some money into it and stretch its life.\’\’
The Courant\’s longtime business reporter, Ken Gosselin, has further details at www.courant.com