Medical building is on schedule, official says


NORWAY — The construction of a $8.2 million medical building downtown is well underway as summer nears its end.

“Now that all of the important groundwork has been completed, the project is really beginning to take shape,” said Barbara Allen, vice president of development and community relations at Norway’s Stephens Memorial Hospital. “It has been exciting for us to watch the transformation from SMRT’s (Architects and Engineering out of Portland) paper architectural renderings to the actual building emerge.”

The proposed 25,500-square-foot office building is being built behind Main Street on a three-acre vacant lot along Pikes Hill Road, which was once the site of the Cummings Mill.

Construction on the medical building, located at the site of the former Cummings Mill on Pikes Hill, began in April under the supervision of general contractor Landry/French Construction of Scarborough.

Allen said the base coat of paving was finished recently as work on the roof continues, as well as some interior framing.

“The new retaining wall and tree plantings along the bank facing Orchard Street provide a nice visual definition to the property and building,” she added.

New granite curbing and sidewalks will be placed along the property on Orchard Street and circle back down Pikes Hill, providing additional new sidewalks for those who like to walk, Allen said.

Because the construction site along Pennesseewassee Stream is located behind the wall of downtown buildings anchored by Norway Opera House, many motorists have not seen the progress over the last year as ground work gave way to actual building construction.

In August 2014, Western Maine Health Care Corporation, owners of Stephens Memorial Hospital, the adjacent Ripley Medical Building and other facilities, announced the construction of the medical office building as part of a $10 million project to meet increasing out-of-hospital care needs.

Ripley Medical Building, next to Stephens Memorial Hospital on lower Main Street, will also undergo a $1.8 million renovation. After its personnel makes the transition to the new office space, Ripley will become the home of Western Maine Pediatrics, Allen said.

The proposed 25,000-square-foot office building is being built on a three-acre lot purchased by Western Maine Health about seven years ago.

The new facility is designed a patient-centered medical home model and will be built to the Efficiency of Maine Advanced Building Program standards, she said.

Construction is expected to be completed by December 2015. In early 2016, the combined physician offices of Western Maine Family Practice and Oxford Hills Family Practice, as well as the Oxford Hills Internal Medicine group and cardiac rehab, will relocate to the new medical office building.

“Landry/French has done a great job keeping the project on schedule, and we still anticipate completion of the building in December,” Allen said, adding that occupancy for Oxford Hills Internal Medicine and the merged offices of Western Maine Family Practice and Oxford Hills Family Practice are on target for January. “Staff at the physicians’ offices continue to make preparations for this move to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible for our patients.”