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July 11, 2018

Hallowell's new fire station almost ready to open

Courtesy / Rosie Curtis Hallowell's new fire station will open later this month.

Hallowell’s new fire 5,300-square-foot fire station on the former Stevens School campus will be ready for use by the end of the month, the architect said Wednesday.

The former fire station on Second Street, built in 1828, will be restored for a new use.

E.J. Perry Construction, of Hallowell, was hired by the city last year for the first phase of the old station's renovation, shoring up the foundation and providing some needed fixes to the two-story brick building before the renovation can begin.

Voters approved a $2.36 million bond issue last year for renovation of the building, which began life as a town hall and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The larger and more modern new station will allow for more larger equipment and an increase in volunteer staff, city officials have said.

Rosie Curtis Architects, of Camden, designed the new building.

“This new fire station will be a timeless asset to Hallowell and a vital and welcoming community center,” said City Manager Nate Rudy.

Curtis began the project by having the firefighters draw their own building plans with paper and pencils, she said.

“Certain ideas began to emerge,” she said. “For example, the chief’s office should be in the corner facing town. The approved design includes comfortable living and meeting spaces for the firefighters, as well as a garage built to fit modern fire vehicles.

“Our goal is always to create buildings that are good neighbors,” she said. “And this building is for the community and from the community, in the deepest possible sense.”

Hallowell has grappled with the need for a new fire station for years. An anonymous donor gave $1 million for the construction, then added $1 million later.

The budget made it possible for the station to be clad in brick, to feature customized fast-opening doors in the garage bays and to include a wide accordion door to open the community room to a granite patio for grilling and gatherings, Curtis said.

A dedication ceremony is planned for Friday, July 27, and an open house for Saturday, July 28.

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