Hallowell launches tender for adaptive redesign of 193-year-old fire station


Hallowell is looking for a company to redesign its 193-year-old fire station, a plan that would provide a new home for the police station and other community uses.

The city recently issued a request for qualifications from architectural and engineering firms to design an adaptive reuse of the building at 124 Second Street that would provide a modern home for the police department, while retaining the historic features of the 4,500 square foot building. , in part for a museum that would also settle there. Proposals are due January 29.

Built in 1828, the two-story brick building was the town hall – then the town hall – until 1899, when the new town hall was built a few blocks north on Winthrop Street. It became the fire station in 1900, and the service was housed there until 2018, when a new fire station was built at Steven’s Commons.

The two-story brick building, which has a more recent clapboard addition to the rear, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hallowell Food Bank uses the basement, but it is otherwise unoccupied.

EJ Perry Construction, of Hallowell, was last hired by the city to consolidate the foundation and provide the necessary patches before the renovation, which cost about $ 200,000.

A 2013 city council resolution demands that the building be maintained and preserved, with its historic value retained, and that the city continue to own it.

The objective of the project, according to the RFP, is to:

  • Relocate the Hallowell Police Department from its “functionally obsolete office” at Town Hall to a new office which includes a garage for police department vehicles, a modern police station and a locker room;
  • Provide ADA accessibility to the entire building;
  • Meet the state fire marshal’s personal safety code requirements for full use of the building;
  • Work with the Hallowell Food Bank to provide space for the organization to continue operating outside the building;
  • Work with interested parties to locate the museum space within the building, including the interior public view of the pipe tower;
  • Determine the best use of the apartment and meeting room space on the upper floor.

The city is hoping for a timeline whose design would be ready for consideration by city council on May 10.

This is the second time the city has issued a tender for the building – the city council rejected the only proposal submitted after a tender last summer. The latest move ends several years of discussions by the city about what to do with the old-fashioned space, as it also struggles to find accommodation for firefighters.

The new 5,300 square foot fire station opened on Winthrop Street in July 2018 after an anonymous donation of $ 1 million for construction. The station’s land was donated by Matt Morrill of Mastway Development, who is renovating the Stevens Commons campus, which was once the State Industrial School for Girls.

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