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Updated: February 22, 2023

National Park Service will invest $33M in Acadia maintenance facility

drawing of big brown building Courtesy / National Park Service A rendering of the new maintenance operations complex at Acadia National Park, targeted for completion in fall 2024.

The National Park Service awarded a $32.6 million contract to demolish outdated structures and build new maintenance facilities at Acadia National Park headquarters

The project will fund a new complex and the demolition of more than 20,000 square feet of park structures deemed unsafe. The new space will mean room for shops and a place to service equipment, new restrooms, offices, workspaces and community areas. As a result, there will be lower costs to heat and cool, a decrease in fuel consumption, protection for equipment from the elements and improved accessibility.

Nickerson & O'Day Inc., a Brewer-based contractor, was awarded the job and is expected to start this spring, with project completion expected in fall 2024.  

The project will eliminate $4.4 million of deferred maintenance and repairs, the park service said. 

“It is impossible to overstate the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to operate a national park,” Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider said in a news release.

“Acadia’s maintenance team works tirelessly to preserve roads and trails; conserve historic carriage roads and stone bridges; keep visitor centers clean and operational; manage construction projects; the list goes on and on.”

The buildings no longer meet the park’s needs, he said. They are structurally unsound, undersized and inadequate for the workload, particularly given the considerable growth of the park’s staff, operations and visitation since the facility was built in the 1960s. 

The 150 people based at the site must use portable restrooms and temporary trailers to compensate.  

In the last 10 years, park visitation has grown by an estimated 70%. In 2021, Acadia National Park had 4.1 million visitors who spent an estimated $486 million and supported over 6,800 jobs and $702 million in economic output in the local region. 



people walking and brown building
Seen here in 2018, government and park officials and members of the Bar Harbor community toured Acadia’s maintenance building to view the deteriorating conditions.

Many park partnership programs also operate out of the maintenance buildings, including volunteer programs that help maintain trails and historic carriage roads. The new maintenance operations complex will be built at Acadia’s McFarland Hill headquarters on around 10 acres. The new digs will also include storage, locker rooms, a break room, conference rooms, utility support spaces, a fuel station, vehicle storage, employee/staff parking, and a wash bay.  

The project is funded by the Great American Outdoors Act, which Congress passed in 2020. The conservation bill includes $9.5 billion over five years to help catch up on a $12 billion maintenance backlog at all national parks.

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