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Updated: September 7, 2023

Real Estate Insider Notebook: Expansions at two different Augusta nonprofits

Children's Center Courtesy / WBRC The Children’s Center, an early intervention and family support organization for children with special needs, is set to cut the ribbon on its expanded space at 1 Alden Ave. in Augusta.

The Children’s Center, an early intervention and family support organization for children with special needs, is set to cut the ribbon on its expanded space at 1 Alden Ave. in Augusta.

The project cost $5 million. The general contractor was Augusta-based Lajoie Brothers and design was by the Bangor-based architecture and engineering firm WBRC. 

The ribbon cutting, scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 7, was to be attended by family members of students, donors, supporters, officials from the Children’s Center and Gov. Janet Mills.

The Children’s Center, founded in 1966, has faced growing demand for its services in recent years. As families contended with increasingly long waiting lists, the center sought WBRC’s help to more than double the size of the flagship facility in Augusta.

A fixture in the Augusta community, the Children’s Center provides services for children from age 6 weeks to 5 years, along with outpatient services and case management for kids up to age 21. Services include behavioral health therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, outpatient mental health services and caregiver education.

Additional space

The addition expands the current facility by 14,000 square feet while renovating 5,000 square feet of existing space. 

WBRC’s design team leveraged a sloping site to separate administrative functions and outpatient service access from the day-to-day center activities, the firm said. The two-story addition includes dividable classrooms and new support spaces, allowing the flexible accommodation of changing needs and future growth.

Outside, an increase in play areas and parking capacity were key objectives in the new design, WBRC said. The building’s exterior massing and detailing create a home-like appearance that harmonizes with the surrounding residential neighborhood while making the expanded facility appear smaller and more welcoming.

The design solution includes a secure main entrance that will ease transitions for students with sensory issues. A low-stimulation interior color scheme provides a calming environment for students, teachers and caregivers. Other improvements include enhanced traffic flow, acoustic separation, daylighting, energy efficiency, meeting spaces and accessibility.

Sheridan Construction
Courtesy / Sheridan Construction
In Augusta, Sheridan Construction has been named general contractor for the Kennebec Valley Humane Society's planned 19,000-square-foot building. The nonprofit is now conducting a $7.7 million capital campaign. 

Not far away

Also in Augusta, Sheridan Construction has been named general contractor by the Kennebec Valley Humane Society for a planned 19,000-square-foot building. The nonprofit group is in the midst of a $7.7 million capital campaign. According to its website, it has raised more than $6.6 million of the target amount. 

Island cable

Versant Power said this week it will work in Mount Desert to prepare to lay a new electrical cable to Sutton Island. During certain parts of construction, one lane will be closed along Route 3/Peabody Drive west of Bracy Cove. Vehicles will still be able to pass, though there may be short delays for approximately two weeks.

Prock Marine of Rockland will lay the cable later this year.

The new cable will lie on the seabed and will not be buried. However, it needs to be "trenched in" at the shore locations on MDI and Sutton Island for protection. Lane closures over the next few weeks are due to trenching work, which will include using a rock hammer where ledge is detected and traditional bucket machinery to excavate where ledge is not present.

The Sutton Island undersea electric cable has been damaged over the years by tidal action and shifting rocks.

The new cable contains electrical conductors as well as a fiber-optic cable that can carry internet connections to the island. Similar cables have been installed at Swan’s Island and Islesford.

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