Still shot from a time lapse video of the construction of the new Cash Corner Fire Station in South Portland. Courtesy / City of South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND—Construction of the new $7.5 million Cash Corner fire station in South Portland is well underway, city officials said this week.

A time-lapse video recorded in June shows the beginnings of the construction for the new station, which is replacing the original, 7,400-square-foot station constructed in the 1970s.

City Manager Scott Morelli said he believes the project is still on budget and still scheduled to open in April 2021.

Fire Capt. Robb Couture said the pandemic has not slowed work, which began March 1.

“The project is on schedule and the pandemic has not had any impact that we are aware of,” he said.

The original building, Morelli said, had developed serious mold issues that could not be easily fixed.

“It is apparent the extent of the mold will require a complete demolition and reconstruction of the living quarters,” consulting firm Sebago Technics wrote in a 2017 report assessing the building.

It would have cost at least $2 million to renovate the building, Morelli said, so officials decided it would be better to replace it.

“We were faced with a pretty big cost there,” he said.

The city had already set aside $1.5 million for the project, and bonded the remaining $6 million, Morelli said.

Demolition of the original station began in February 2020. The new, 17,000-square-foot building will occupy the same location, 360 Main St., in the center of the city, as the original station. Fire officials declined to comment on the project this week, but told The Forecaster previously that the new building will have more space for personnel, equipment and vehicles, and also contain newer amenities such as classroom space.

“(It is) a bare-bones station that will meet the needs today and 50 years from now,” Fire Chief James Wilson said when presenting plans for the new station to the city council in 2019.

Right now, Morelli said, firefighters normally stationed at Cash Corner are sharing space at the Western Avenue station until construction is complete.

Sean Murphy 780-9094

Email: [email protected]

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