PARIS — As groundbreaking got underway for the new McDonald’s restaurant earlier this week, corporate and construction officials noted the Paris restaurant will remain open during most of the roughly four-month project.

The groundbreaking for the new restaurant — which will only be about 100 square feet larger than the current 4,800-square-foot restaurant — began on July 25. The restaurant will be switching places with the adjacent parking lot.

McDonald’s plans to keep the current staff and expanding by 20 positions when the new restaurant opens, according to Timothy Doyle, vice president of the Napoli Group.

“Here … the most important thing for us, and we want our customers to know, is the operation of the existing store will pretty much go on … into September (with) no interruptions,” said Larry Johnson, a brand ambassador for the Napoli Group LLC, which owns the restaurant at 118 Main St.

Doyle said depending on how the project goes, the current restaurant — which was built in 1971 — will close between Sept. 15 and Sept. 30. He projects the new restaurant — which will feature a double drive-through and more green space — will open its doors between Oct. 21 and Nov. 7, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

“The whole building will be pretty much completed before they start tearing this down,” Johnston said as he sat inside the current McDonald’s restaurant.

He noted once the new building is erected, the inside work will have to be completed.

The new building will sit in almost the same position as the current one, just moved to the adjacent parking lot, Doyle said. The site of the current restaurant will become the new parking lot, which will still allow easy navigation for trailers, boats and buses. There will be around 70 parking spots.

“In the new building, as it sits on the property, you will be able to go around the front of the building and recycle in the parking lot,” he said. “The traffic pattern on the new building will be much better than this one, a lot easier to get in and out of the parking lot because you will have multiple spots (to enter and exit).

If you want to stay in your car and eat your lunch, you can pull into a parking spot, he said.

Johnston said the construction will be kept away from the current restaurant as much as possible.

Roger Desjardins, president of Marceau Construction Corp. in Methuen, Mass., said he has been building McDonald’s restaurants for the Amherst, N.H.-based Napoli Group for 40 years.

With the exception of a few of his workers, he’s using Maine companies for the project. They include P & K Sand and Gravel in Naples, Rhodes Concrete Corp. in Denmark, Landry and Sons Acoustics in Lewiston, EJ Drywall Inc. in Greene, North Atlantic Tile in Surrey, plumber Bob Miles of Freeport and mason Ed Hodson of North Monmouth.

“They are people both Tim and I have worked with before and they’re all good contractors,” Desjardins said.

For the approximate month that the restaurant is closed, Paris employees will head to the Farmington restaurant — which was rebuilt last year —  to get training on the new double drive-through. Even though the building will be new, it will need to be cleaned before opening, he said.

“There’s plenty of work for everybody,” Doyle said. “Nobody’s going to get laid off.”

Johnston noted everyone involved in the project believes the sooner the project is complete, the better.

“We want to get that new store open as soon as possible because we expect that to be a big increase in sales,” he said.

Currently, 68 percent of the restaurant’s business comes through its drive-through, Doyle noted.

“It (the percentage) will probably go up,” he said.

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