LINCOLN, Maine — Work on the $3.5 million Lakeview Senior Housing project is almost finished, and workers there hope to complete it by Nov. 1, about a month behind an earlier projected completion date.
“The first, second and third floors are just about all done,” said Bob Wilson, job supervisor for Perry & Morrill Inc. of Bangor, the general contractor handling the building’s construction. “There’s just a few things left to do in the basement and a little bit of work going on with the outside of the building and the clock tower. It’s going good.”
Finishing work, such as the installation of carpets, is about all that remains on the top three floors. Appliances are being installed, and once the railings and carpets are installed in the basement, checklist work — double-checking and testing of building safety systems, among other things — will commence, he said.
The building at Main Street and West Broadway is three stories, about 15,000 square feet and will have 24 housing units. It is envisioned to be not only a home for senior citizens, but also a provider of customers to downtown businesses and service organizations. It will be operated by the social service agency Penquis of Ban-gor.
About 80 people have applied to live in the center when it is finished. Penquis and Maine Housing Authority workers will begin winnowing the list shortly, said Stephen Mooers, director of housing services for Penquis.
“One of the things that always makes me happy about this [project] is that it’s serving the immediate needs of Lincoln people,” Mooers said Monday. “There are always some people who are fearful that these kinds of developments will draw people from far away, but I would say that about 90 percent of the applicants we have seen so far are from the Lincoln [Lakes region]. There are only a couple that aren’t.”
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.
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 were erected, including the Lee A. Rush Memo-rial Gazebo and the lakeside walkway, the officials have said.
Construction began in November 2009. Four federal and state grants, including American Resource and Recovery Act funding, are paying for the construction of the building.
Mooers estimated that the construction led to the employment of at least 200 workers, not counting those who supplied the building’s raw materials or otherwise indirectly supported the project.
He hopes to hold an open house in the building in November and start moving tenants in early next year, once the building gets its final inspections and occupancy approvals. Under ARRA guidelines, the funding for the project must be expended by Dec. 31, Mooers said.