Acadia National Park will break ground this weekend on a long-awaited new maintenance facility.
The new, 32,000-square-foot maintenance building will be located on Acadia’s administrative campus on Route 233 in Bar Harbor. It will house offices, meeting rooms, shops and equipment storage, according to the park.
That will replace the aging structure on Eagle Lake Road. Acadia’s current maintenance building was built in the mid-1950s, and was described in 2018 as “beyond repair.” Its long, low, flat roof was found insufficient for heavy snow loads in 2013, and a park official told the Bangor Daily News in 2018 that the masonry supporting its walls has “turned back into sand in many places.”
Despite being a priority on the park’s to-do list for more than 20 years, funding has been hard to come by because of the National Park Service’s large deferred maintenance backlog, which totaled $22.3 billion at the end of fiscal year 2022, including $120 million for Acadia National Park.
The park service in February approved a $33 million contract for the firm Nickerson & O’Day to build the new maintenance building. Work begins Saturday afternoon with the groundbreaking and is expected to be finished next February.
Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau are expected to join park service officials and others for the groundbreaking at 3 p.m.
This is the second major construction project underway for Acadia National Park. A new visitor center is being built on Route 3 in Trenton, where visitors can park their vehicles, catch the Island Explorer, and learn more about the park and surrounding communities. Like the maintenance building, it’s been a project years in the making.
Nickerson & O’Day also will be constructing the new visitor center.