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Foundation nears completion at Potsdam Hampton Inn

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POTSDAM — The foundation is nearly complete on Potsdam’s first full-sized hotel.

Construction of the Hampton Inn on outer Market Street began in late November and has been progressing ever since, despite delays brought on by the bitter cold.

Workers use a tent and a special ground-thawing machine to keep the frost at bay while preparing the foundation.

Soon the foundation will be done, and work will begin on plumbing and other underground systems, according to Charles A. Gaetano II, site supervisor for developer Visions Hotels Inc., Corning.

Visions Hotels owns and operates more than 50 hotels, including Watertown’s Best Western.

The 94-room, three-story building is slated for completion in August, but Mr. Gaetano said that depends on the weather.

“We’ve been fighting the cold up here,” he said.

The hotel will open soon after its completion.

Potsdam has long wanted a full-sized hotel. Events at SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University often draw a large number of visitors, but the village’s small inns and motels fill up quickly, causing visitors to travel to Canton or elsewhere to find a place to stay.

Visions Hotels first proposed its plan for a Hampton Inn in 2012.

The land was purchased from James E. Sheehan for $1.2 million in August.

The sale displaced Ton’s Sports Bar, Potsdam Florist and Mr. Sheehan’s own Scoopuccino’s Restaurant, all of which were located on the site and have since found new locations.

Mr. Sheehan’s J.E. Sheehan Contracting Corp. is handling much of the on-site construction work, although Mr. Gaetano will stay in Potsdam for the duration of the project to supervise.

If the weather remains temperate, the work should progress with few problems, but if temperatures drop below zero again, the entire work site will be covered with a massive tent to keep out the snow and keep the ground thawed, Mr. Gaetano said.

“It will look like a big circus tent here,” he said.

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