A $10.85 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation will allow the Maine Community College System to buy 600 acres on the Good Will-Hinckley campus to expand Kennebec Valley Community College. The purchase in turn will give the revamped Good Will-Hinckley school the funds to run its Maine Academy of Natural Sciences.
KVCC's expansion into 13 buildings on the Good Will-Hinckley campus will expand its enrollment capacity by 1,500-2,000 students, according to a press release from Gov. Paul LePage's office. The property includes an academic building, a recreation center and an organic farm. Kennebec Valley Community College anticipates locating several of its programs at the new campus and plans to establish the state's first associate degree program in agricultural sciences. The money from the foundation includes $1 million to support the $4 million acquisition of the property, $8.35 million for capital improvements at KVCC and $1.5 million for Good Will-Hinckley to support its operations. The state has also appropriated $750,000 to the community college system to support annual operating costs at the new campus, as well as $530,000 annually to Good Will-Hinckley to fund operating costs.
After shutting down its educational programs in 2009, Good Will-Hinckley reorganized last year and launched a residential and day program focused on agriculture, sustainability, forestry and environmental studies. School officials told Mainebiz last summer they anticipated the sale of the property to KVCC, and that the money from the sale would help pay back $2.4 million it tapped from its $12 million endowment.