AUGUSTA — The state plans to add parking to its east campus on the grounds of the former Augusta Mental Health Institute as part of a larger project that includes adding new parking lots, repaving existing lots and making improvements to sidewalks and access roads.

Part of the proposal goes to the Augusta Planning Board for a public hearing and review as a “major development” Tuesday night. New parking lots and sidewalks to be installed as part of the project require city review, while other parts, such as repaving existing parking lots, do not.

Three additional parking lots are planned, two of which are adjacent to each other and to existing parking lots there and the third is small at only 11 spaces.

Two new parking lots attached to each other and existing parking lots would be built between Arsenal Street and the Ray, Harlow and Elkins buildings. Together the two lots would be just under 42,000 square feet.

They’ll have 98 parking spaces, according to David Heidrich Jr., director of communications for the state Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

The area where the two new lots would be is lawn now crossed by paved sidewalks. The site is currently marked with wooden stakes flagged with orange tape.


The state Bureau of General Services recently conducted a study of parking on the 147-acre east campus which concluded there is sufficient parking on the campus, but it is not well-situated, so there is extra capacity for vehicles in some areas and insufficient parking in other areas. That results in some employees and visitors to state offices walking relatively long distances from their parked vehicles to their destination and back, the study found.

The study also determined, according to documents filed by the state with the city, anticipated development within the next five years will increase the need for parking at the site beyond the current capacity.

Heidrich said the state has space in the Greenlaw and Deering buildings on the campus that is presently vacant. He said work is underway to renovate those buildings, because the state has an obligation to maintain its facilities. He noted the state renovated the Marquardt building last year and moved staff from the Department of Marine Resources and Natural Resource Service Center from the Stevens School site in Hallowell to that renovated space. A dding parking will ensure any additional state workers moved to the campus will have a place to park.

“To the extent that these facilities are re-purposed and utilized, both now and in the future, we need to ensure ample parking remains available,” Heidrich said.

The project is expected to be done in three phases, beginning as soon as this month and concluding next summer.

A letter from Kirk Mohney, state historic preservation officer, indicates the proposed project would not have any adverse effect on historic properties, either architectural or archaeological.


The new parking lots are part of a larger, approximately $4 million project in which the state plans to resurface existing parking lots and complete other work. That includes resurfacing lots on Blossom Lane and Piggery Road, adding some new sidewalks, making drainage system improvements and paving around Campbell Barn, a large, clapboard-sided barn used to store vehicles such as boats and all terrain vehicles near the intersection of Hospital and Arsenal streets. An area where boats and other vehicles could be rinsed with water would also be added just outside Campbell Barn. A gravel parking lot on the northern end of the campus visible from Hospital Street will be paved as part of the project, adding 86 paved parking spaces.

The work will be funded by bonds.

The proposal goes to the Augusta Planning Board at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at Augusta City Center.

Board members are also scheduled to consider a proposed amendment to a previously approved proposal to allow blasting as part of an R.A. Cummings Inc. project adding a garage at the Auburn Concrete site off Civic Center Drive. The board approved the project without blasting May 10. The firm is seeking to blast about 2,000 cubic yards of rock to accommodate a just-under 2,000-square-foot garage to store concrete trucks.

The application seeks permission for a maximum of 10 blasts over the course of a month to make way for construction of the garage.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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