LINCOLN, Maine — Construction of the $3.5 million Lakeview Senior Housing project is on schedule and workers building the 24-unit building expressed confidence Wednesday that it would stay that way.
“I’d say we’re about three-quarters done,” said Bob Wilson, job supervisor for Perry & Morrill Inc. of Bangor, the general contractor handling the building’s construction. “It’s going pretty well. Nothing is 100 percent finished, but we have a lot of work done.”
The exterior and roof of the three-story building at West Broadway and Main Street are just about finished. Cabinets are going into the third floor kitchens and drywall is finished on the second and third floor and starting on the first, Wilson said.
Subcontractors began hooking up the building’s main power on Wednesday, he said.
“We got off to a slow start because we were waiting on some government funding, but the winter wasn’t that bad, and we have been moving right along since the spring,” Wilson said. “It’s been a pretty decent job.”
Construction is due to conclude by Oct. 1, Wilson said.
The construction site is the last property to be revitalized in the wake of the two arsons that destroyed a quarter of downtown in 2002. Construction is being overseen by Penquis, the Bangor-based social services agency that will help the building find suitable tenants when it is finished.
The subcontractors said the building has been a good steady job for them.
“Work in the field is slow right now so you have to take what you can get,” said Bruce White, 46, of Sebec, a master electrician for Aroostook Electrical Services of Presque Isle, as he wired up a ceiling fan on the third floor on Wednesday.
For Penquis and town officials, Lakeview is the first construction project bolstered by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding. As much as 90 percent of the building’s total costs will be funded or reimbursed by federal stimulus money, Penquis officials have said.
For town officials, the housing project and the downtown revitalization that occurred with it represent the most complex and largest construction effort they have ever attempted. Several properties were razed and acquired and new sidewalks, streetlights, edifices and parking lots erected, including the Lee A. Rush Memorial Gazebo and the lakeside walkway, the officials have said.
Penquis picked the site because it has ready access to a pharmacy, a large grocery store and a host of other social services and retail amenities within walking distance.
Penquis began looking at the site in 2007. Before that, one potential developer resigned his interest in the site, which among the damaged properties was among the most difficult to fill because town officials said they wanted to fulfill their vision for the property.
Steve Moores, director of housing services for Penquis, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Penquis describes itself as an agency dedicated to assisting individuals and families in preventing, reducing or eliminating poverty in their lives and, through partnerships, engaging the community in addressing economic and social needs, according to its website, penquis.org.
It primarily serves low- and moderate-income individuals in Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox counties, though several programs extend well beyond these boundaries.