Second Street Fire Station

The century-old Second Street Fire Station, at the corner of Second Street and Perley’s Lane in Hallowell. Officials are planning a workshop regarding the future of the historic former fire station building. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

HALLOWELL — Officials are planning a workshop regarding the future of the city’s historic former fire station building on the corner of Second Street and Perley’s Lane, and will discuss the best use of the structure, particularly its potential as a new spot for the city’s police station.

The City Council in late October heard a presentation from Artifex Architects & Engineers of Bangor about using the former building as a new spot for the city’s police department, which is currently in the basement of city hall.

The city hasn’t set a date for the workshop, but Mayor George Lapointe said it would be held prior to the city council’s next regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 13.

The architects’ proposed keeping the city’s food pantry in the historic building and constructing a 450 square foot sally port for the police. If the city moves forward with this proposal, it would expand the police department’s current space from 800 square feet to roughly 4,000 square feet.

Other proposed areas include a 550-square-foot patrol workroom, a 420-square-foot multi-purpose room, and 316 square feet for records storage. The building would still include 1,935 square feet for the food bank, 275 square feet for archive storage, 1,600 square feet for future expansion and the historic tower.

Construction, which includes masonry, steel, roofing, siding and insulation for the new sally port along with applying new drywall and replacing windows, is estimated to cost $2.3 million. The grand total, which includes estimates for general conditions, overhead and profit, design contingency, bond and insurance, was estimated at roughly $3.2 million.


The building was completed in 1828 and served as Hallowell’s Town Hall until 1899 when City Hall was built. In 2013, city council signed a resolution stating any future uses of the building should be consistent with its historic value and that it will remain under city care and supervision.

Ellen Angel, principal in charge at Artifex, said in October that while the building is in good condition and has “really good bones,” it would still need to be brought up to code and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in order for the police station to make the move.

Because of the building’s condition, Angel estimated that the project would be less expensive than a brand new building. Rob Manns of Manns Woodward Studios added during the October meeting that after doing a cost estimate for new construction versus renovation, the historic fire station project was almost 80% of the value of building a brand new police station.

During a Nov. 8 council meeting, Lapointe said that while he thought the architects’ presentation was “very well prepared,” he felt the proposal was “excessive and too big.”

“I met with the city manager and the police chief and we talked about an alternative that would have the police station on the middle floor,” said Lapointe, adding that they could utilize the garage for parking cars so they would not need to build a sally port or use the third floor for storage.

His suggestion involved creating more space in the building for a currently undetermined use, such as a museum.


“That’s my gut check on it,” he said. “That would require redoing the plans for the police station and some financial investment, but it strikes me as more in line with what we need in the police department compared to what was presented, so I welcome other peoples’ opinions.”

Councilor Maureen AuCoin motioned to table the discussion and holding a separate workshop meeting for the discussion, as officials were already two and a half hours into their Nov. 8 meeting.

Council unanimously voted in favor of tabling the discussion to its own workshop meeting.

On Thursday, Lapointe said once a date is determined, it will be published on the city’s website.

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