ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Acadia has received $27 million in federal funds to replace the maintenance building at park headquarters, which is too small, inefficient and structurally unsound.
“We just awarded a contract to complete the design for the building,” Superintendent Kevin Schneider told the Acadia Advisory Commission last week. “We expect construction drawings to be completed by the end of this year, and we hope to break ground on a new maintenance building a year from now.
“Once we break ground, the whole headquarters campus is going to be fairly well torn up; it will be a little bit of a mess while we build that. But it is really exciting to see that get across the finish line.”
The funding is the result of Congress passing the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) last July. It will provide the National Park Service (NPS) with up to $6.5 billion over five years to address maintenance needs in America’s national parks, monuments and historic sites.
The money is specifically intended to help the NPS reduce the growing backlog of deferred maintenance projects, which are defined as having been on hold for more than a year.
Replacement of the maintenance garage, which was built in the 1960s, has been at the top of Acadia’s deferred projects priority list for a number of years.
Keith Johnston, Acadia’s chief of facilities maintenance said that, in 2013, “The building was determined to be structurally inefficient for the weather here. It has never been code compliant. It’s not ADA accessible.”
Schneider said the maintenance building is “the backbone of our infrastructure here at the park and allows us to support so many other programs and activities.”
He said Acadia also will be receiving $8 million in GAOA funds next fiscal year to rehabilitate the water and wastewater systems in the Schoodic Peninsula section of the park.
For the following three fiscal years, FY23-FY25, Schneider said, “Our priorities for funding include the water and wastewater systems on MDI. Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach and Echo Lake are some of the key locations where those systems are in poor condition.”
Rehabilitating the Jordan Pond House restaurant, gift shop and nearby employee housing also is a high priority, Schneider said.
“Jordan Pond House is such an important site for our visitors, yet it’s in relatively poor condition,” he said.
Also high on Acadia’s list of deferred maintenance projects is renovation of the apartments at the Schoodic Institute, which is located at what was a U.S. Navy communications station until 2001.
“Those apartments have not been touched since the Navy left,” Schneider said. “Turning them into more of a hotel-style accommodation, which better suits the use of the Schoodic campus, is another project we’re going to target for Great American Outdoors Act funding.”