SOUTH PORTLAND — The city will start building a new solid waste transfer station next week as the first phase of a new $15.7 million municipal services facility on Highland Avenue that will replace the public works complex on O’Neil Street.

The project will be built at 929 Highland Ave., a 10-acre parcel where the existing transfer station is located. The new transfer station will be built beside the old one, which will continue to operate until the new one opens in December, said Rick Towle, the city’s director of parks, recreation and waterfront operations.

A favorite feature of the new transfer station is a planned two-bay garage that will serve as a swap shop, where residents can trade gently used items such as books, toys, housewares and furniture, Towle said. City councilors asked that a swap shop be part of the new transfer station because many residents said they wanted one like the popular swap shop at Cape Elizabeth’s transfer station.

As Towle, the project manager, has shepherded the municipal services facility through various steps in the approval process, the swap shop has attracted great interest, even from officials at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

“It’s a multimillion-dollar project and the thing that everyone wants to know about is the swap shop,” Towle said, sounding amused.

The swap shop will be a simple wooden structure with a metal roof and two garage doors, Towle said.

City officials are scheduled to hold a ground-breaking ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the existing transfer station.

Construction of the new transfer station is expected to start Aug. 17 and be completed by Dec. 11. The project is designed by city staff with assistance from Sebago Technics of South Portland and SMRT of Portland. The general contractor is Eastern Excavation of Westbrook.

The new transfer station also will feature a better layout for more efficient and safer traffic flow, storm-water management to protect two nearby ponds and railings along Dumpsters to prevent accidents and injuries, Towle said.

Last year, a Cape Elizabeth resident died when he was struck accidentally by a vehicle and fell into a below-ground-level trash compactor. No criminal charges were filed in that case. South Portland has curbside trash collection and recycling, but it has a transfer station for yard waste, bulky items, construction debris and hazardous waste.

The next phase of the municipal services facility will be built on the site of the existing transfer station. It will house the city’s public works, parks and transportation divisions, providing maintenance for the city’s fleet of plow trucks, school buses and other vehicles.

Construction of the second phase will start in April and be completed by June 2017, when a new, larger road for the entire complex will be paved, Towle said.

The new municipal services facility is financed by a $14 million bond that voters approved in 2013 and $1.7 million in capital improvement funds.

The project will include demolishing the current public works complex at the end of O’Neil Street, located in a dense residential neighborhood off Cottage Road, and preparing the 6-acre site for redevelopment into single-family homes and open space.