PORTLAND — Construction on the first phase of the renovation of Cumberland County Civic Center is scheduled to start within the next couple of days.

Civic Center trustees, Cumberland County commissioners and others involved – or just interested – in the $33 million project gathered at the Free Street entrance to the building Wednesday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony.

The renovation, which was approved by voters last fall, will take about 13 months and will be done in two phases.

The first phase, which is expected to be completed in October, is mainly a reconstruction the Free Street entrance so that people will no longer have to walk down stairs to get into the building.

During construction of the first phase, there will be no parking on Free Street, from the city-owned parking garage to Brown Street. From Brown Street to Center Street, there will only be parking on the left side of the street.

The bulk of the renovation will be done in the second phase, which will start in April and be completed in September 2013.

That will affect parking and travel on Center Street, which will only be open to northbound traffic and will have no parking, and Spring Street, which will be closed between the Civic Center and the median, between the parking garage and Center Street.

In that phase, the two entrances on Spring Street will be built at ground level and there will be many upgrades to the interior, including improved bathrooms and locker rooms and the addition of private suites and premium seating.