WATERVILLE — Heavy equipment for demolition and blasting work was moved downtown Monday onto the site of the future $26 million Lockwood Hotel in preparation for underground utility work and pouring a foundation.

The 47,692-square-foot, 53-room hotel with a restaurant is being developed by Colby College at the site of the former Levine’s clothing store and Camden National Bank. It is expected to open in the fall of 2020.

The earth and site work will include drilling and blasting to remove old foundations and ledge to prepare for pouring a new foundation, according to Brian Clark, Colby’s vice president for planning.

Clark said Monday that the blasting schedule depends on weather conditions but likely will start next week. Underground trenching for utilities will follow, and then steel framing will be erected.

“The middle part of fall, the entire structure should be in place,” he said.

Named for the former Lockwood textile mill complex to its south on Water Street, the hotel will have four stories. There will be entrances on both Main and Front streets, and a restaurant and bar on the first floor will be open for hotel guests and the public. Meeting rooms and a fitness center for guests also will be built.

“The Waterville Planning Board last week considered $45 million in new investments with the Lockwood Hotel and the redevelopment of the former Lockwood Mills complex by North River Company — a level of investment in downtown Waterville that was unthinkable just a few years ago,” Clark said. “These projects will both contribute significantly to Waterville’s vitality and will help to bring more residents and visitors to Waterville, adding to the tax base, creating new jobs, and expanding opportunities for economic growth.

“The start of construction of the Lockwood Hotel is another visible signal of Waterville’s redevelopment and, when it opens in the fall of 2020, there will once again be a hotel in the heart of downtown, providing both an exceptional experience for visitors to this area and serving as a welcoming hub for the entire community,” he added.

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