Business was steady at O Connell s, in Cheshire, on Monday, which was the store s last day of operation. Construction has already begun on a new facility
Business was steady at O Connell s, in Cheshire, on Monday, which was the store s last day of operation. Construction has already begun on a new facility and should be up and running sometime in October. (Gillian Jones / New England Newspapers)

CHESHIRE -- The town's only gas pumps shut down Tuesday and will remain closed until at least October as a $1.8 million building project at O'Connell's Convenience Plus finishes what it started last summer.

In the works for nearly a decade, the project has so far seen a larger building erected behind the traditional store.

Mark and James Sobon, two project managers of the O'Connell renovation, said in an interview Tuesday that the next phase involves clearing the old to make way for the new by demolishing the smaller structure, scheduled to happen sometime this week.

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"We're real excited to get the old [store] down," Mark said Tuesday. "In this day and age you've got to keep up with the Jones'."

If the schedule holds up, the heavy machinery should roll out this week.

While the new store is being setup the location's roughly eight full- or part-time employees can work at other O'Connell's stores during the construction, but it's unclear how many hours each will be able to work.

Sobon described the new building as a 4,800-square-foot "state-of-the-art convenience store." It will include a Dunkin' Donuts, a deli, a "cool zone" drink station and more.

James said the business considers the store a prime opportunity for growth, given the volume of traffic driving along Route 8 each day.

"We're kind of the only show in town," he said. "The potential is written all over our numbers."

Between this week and October, the single-walled gas tanks underneath and the above-ground canopies over the pump islands on either side of the existing store will be removed and exchanged for new models, which will flank the new store. The new setup will also feature an additional pump.

According to state specifications the station's outdated gas tanks would have to have been replaced by 2017 anyway, so to meet the requirements the owners opted to replace them with double-walled fiberglass tanks.

The Sobons said the company has planned a grand opening for sometime in October. Updates will be posted on signs on the station's property.