WATERVILLE — An excavator plucked away at the Oak Street apartment building Thursday morning, tearing it apart bit by bit until the machine finally knocked over the shell and it crashed to the ground.

The two-story, two-unit apartment building at 70 Oak St. is one of two to be demolished at the corner of Oak and Main streets to make way for a new KV Federal Credit Union. The site is in a residential neighborhood on busy upper Main Street that is the gateway to major shopping centers and interstate ramps on the city’s north end.

On Friday, Central Maine Demolition, of Fairfield, also will raze a four-unit apartment building at 299 Main St., according to Brian Bowman, of Bowman Constructors, of Newport, which is the general contractor for the project.

Bowman and Edwin Frye, vice president of the credit union’s board of trustees, watched as the excavator cleared away trees around the Oak Street building and then started picking away at a small porch on the south side of the building before attacking the rest.

“They’re going to start doing ground prep in 10 days to a couple of weeks,” Frye said.

Dan Nichols, also a member of the credit union board and chairman of its supervisory committee, said the ground will be made level to make way for the 3,000-square-foot credit union building, which will be all on one floor, face Main Street and have a Main Street address. Jim Durgin is the project’s architect, he said.

The credit union and four employees expect to move from a leased space on Quarry Road to the new site in the fall. The Quarry Road site formerly was HealthFirst Credit Union, but KV took it over in 2016, according to Frye. KV has two other locations — a main office in Augusta, and a branch in Oakland.

The new credit union building will be about in the center of the lot, with a main entrance off Oak Street. Drivers will circle around the front of the building, where some angled parking will face Main Street. Employee parking will be nearer to Kelsey Street. The building will include a night drop, an ATM and a drive-up window.

Frye said the City Council and the Planning Board were great to work with on the project, as was Don Plourde, of Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate, who helped the credit union find the location. The apartment buildings, owned by Brown House Properties, initially were not for sale, according to Frye. E.S. Coffin & Engineering, of Chelsea, did the site plan.

“It’s perfect,” Frye said. “It’s a great location.”

The City Council last September voted 7-0 to approve a recommendation by the Planning Board to rezone 299 Main St. and 70 Oak St. from Residential-C to Contract Zoned District/Commercial-A to allow for the credit union to be built there. The properties are just north of Beth Israel Congregation synagogue at 291 Main St. and south of First Congregational Church, at the corner of Main Street and Eustis Parkway.

The demolition material will be taken to a landfill, where as much as possible of it will be recycled, according to Bowman.

Bowman, which has been in business 31 years, has done work for several other credit unions, including those in central Maine and the Millinocket area, he said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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