SOUTH PORTLAND — The first phase of construction on a new Municipal Services Facility will begin next week and is slated to be completed by early December.
A groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for the approximately 70,000-square-foot facility that will house the Public Works, Transportation, and Parks and Recreation departments represents a culmination of “about 20 years of hard work,” City Manager Jim Gailey said.
The project is estimated to cost about $15.7 million, and will be funded largely by $14 million in construction bonds approved by voters in November 2013, along with a $1.7 million capital improvement bond.
The multi-building project will sit on nine acres at 929 Highland Ave., where the existing transfer station now operates.
The first phase of construction, to begin Aug. 17 and be completed by Dec. 11, will include construction of a new transfer station, including a swap shop, and installation of infrastructure and roads for the remainder of the buildings, Rick Towle, director of parks, recreation and waterfront, said.
The new transfer station will open in December, even as the remainder of the area is under construction, Towle said Wednesday.
There will also be space for snow dumping, a sand-and-salt shed, school bus parking, and a fuel station with two 10,000-gallon underground storage tanks to fuel all city vehicles, including fire trucks, ambulances and police cars.
The facilities will use energy-efficient light-emitting diode lights, and a heat pump system, Towle said.
In June, David Lay, architect from SMRT Architects & Engineers, told the Planning Board the city has also decided to participate in the Efficiency Maine Advanced Building Program. That means the facility will get monetary credit for installing energy-efficient features.
The buildings will also be constructed with with the “capabilities of interfacing with a future solar project,” Towle said.
Once completed by June 2017, the Municipal Services Facility is expected to serve the city for the next 50 to 75 years, Gailey said at Monday’s ceremony.
Mayor Linda Cohen, center, with city staff, city councilors and resident Russ Lunt, right, shovels dirt on Monday, Aug. 10, at the groundbreaking for South Portland’s new Municipal Services Facility at 929 Highland Ave.
A map of the South Portland Municipal Services Facility, which is expected to open in phases beginning this December.