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Colby College will celebrate groundbreaking on its new mixed-use development in downtown Waterville this week, when Mayor Nick Isgro joins Colby President David A. Greene in officially marking the construction of Main Street’s most significant building project in the better part of a century—a 100,000-square-foot facility that will include community space, retail locations, and housing for 200 Colby students, faculty and staff.
The ceremonial groundbreaking at 150 Main Street, scheduled for Wed., May 3, at 9 a.m., marks a turning point in the revitalization of the city’s historic commercial core. The public is invited to attend.
“There will be cranes in downtown Waterville for the first time in decades,” said Vice President of Planning Brian Clark. “With these first construction projects underway, it becomes easier to imagine how much more vibrant downtown Waterville will be in the very near future.”
Colby is building the complex, scheduled for occupancy in summer 2018, as part of a wider plan to catalyze development on both ends of Main Street. Already, the neighborhood is humming with new energy. Across the street at 173 Main, a historic bank building owned by Colby is getting finishing touches on renovation and will soon be the home of CGI’s Northeast hub. The international software-consulting firm has pledged to bring 200 jobs to Waterville. At the other end of the street, 9 Main, a 42-room hotel is currently in planning.
The students living at 150 Main will all participate in civic engagement initiatives that will build on Colby’s active existing program. Colby students contribute on average 40,000 hours of community service to Waterville and surrounding communities each year. This program will enhance the strong tradition that involves schools, nonprofits, and civic organizations and includes the popular Colby Cares About Kids mentoring program, in which one-quarter of Colby students participate.
The first floor of the building will contain a large public space for use by Waterville city government, community groups, and others for meetings and events. Initial site work by construction company Landry/French has already taken place at 150 Main, with curbstones and landscape features removed and utility coordination underway.
For more information, or to sign up for regular updates on the project, go to watervillepartnership.org and follow #watervillenext.