HALLOWELL — Construction of the city’s new fire station continues to move toward a summer completion, and the next milestone in the process should come soon: the installation of the bi-fold truck-bay doors.

Construction workers have been installing sheet rock the past few weeks, and firefighter Rick Seymour said the doors should be installed around March 20.

“That’s a pretty big deal and a sight to be seen,” Seymour said during a recent tour of the new firehouse. “We hope to be able to move trucks into the station at the beginning of April.”

The project should to be fully completed by the end of June, said Seymour, who serves as the Fire Department’s public information officer. The department will operate in the new station once the trucks are inside, and construction crews will continue finishing the firehouse at the same time.

The 5,300-square-foot station in Hallowell will include a chief’s office, a training room, a lounge and sleeping space, two bathrooms, a kitchen and conference room. The garage is 64 feet long and 56 feet wide with enough room for three modern firetrucks.

The construction is being funded by an anonymous donor who pledged up to $1 million in March 2017 and increased the donation to an unspecified amount at the end of last year. The city will not pay anything for construction, and the city expects the station — being built on a parcel of land Stevens Commons owner Matt Morrill donated to the city — to be mostly complete before a major Water Street reconstruction project begins next month.

Infrastructure repairs and improvements to the road network at the 54-acre campus have been ongoing since the fall. The roads, and an 8-acre conservation area, were donated to the city by Morrill as part of the deal to fund the road work using $600,000 approved by voters in April in a $2.36 million bond package.

Work included paving the new Beech Street, reclaiming existing pavement, tree clearing, installation of a water main, service connections and hydrants, installation of new sewer mains, service connections, manholes and asphalt paving for roadway, sidewalks and curbing. The city will wait to pave Coos Lane until construction of the station is complete.

The conservation area on the north side of the campus will provide open space for the city forever, and it also gives people access to the Howard Hill Conservation Area, a 164-acre wooded tract in Augusta that is a backdrop to the Maine State House.

As work continues to progress on the city’s first new fire station in almost 200 years, improvements are being made to shore up the existing wooden structure on the current fire station on Second Street using money allocated for the project and approved in last year’s bond vote.

The station — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — was built in 1828 and served as the Town Hall and then became City Hall when Hallowell became a city years later. The fire tower was added to the structure when the Hallowell Fire Department moved from Water Street.

The city pushed for the construction on the new station on an aggressive timeline because the Water Street reconstruction will re-route motorists along Second Street and increased traffic could disrupt fire response if the Fire Department still calls its current station home.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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