Waterville: Assets and Opportunities

At yesterday’s meeting with business and civic leaders and Colby President David Greene, the discussion stayed big picture and focused on aspirations.

Downtown Waterville Meeting

“If we focus on this together, and we are able to invest and bring others in, in five years Waterville could be a very different place.” –President David Greene

Attracting Residents and Visitors
Ideas for making Waterville a more vibrant city included

  • Additional restaurants
  • Event/conference center
  • Boutique hotel
  • Better visibility of the waterfront
  • More residents on Main Street

Institutions and Assets
Waterville benefits from strong institutions and assets that many cities of this size don’t have. Among them

  • Three colleges
  • Two hospitals
  • The Maine Film Center and Railroad Square Cinema
  • The Colby College Museum of Art
  • Quarry Road Recreation Area
  • Kennebec Messalonskee Trails
  • The Atlantic Music Festival
  • An airport
  • Strong riverfront infrastructure

Waterville a Decade from Now Could Be a Center For…

  • Maine’s organic farming movement
  • Hospitality training
  • Technology training

Mapping It Out
With a big map and lots of markers, committee members considered

  • Gateways to the city
  • Parking
  • Orientation of existing buildings
  • Traffic direction of Main Street
  • Intersections
  • Pedestrian traffic
  • Connection to the waterfront
  • Creating public open spaces

Bridging the Gap
Committee members supported the idea of a regular shuttle for students, faculty, and staff to get downtown and finding ways to welcome residents on Colby’s campus for events and other activities. 

What’s Next?
At the April meeting the group will explore specifics. If consensus can be met on a set of initiatives that will make a significant impact on Waterville, Colby is prepared to bring its own money to the table.