Alfond Campus

Public Relations | Alfond Campus

 

KVCC’s Harold Alfond Campus takes shape

 

Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) has begun the largest expansion in its 43-year history.

 

Thanks to a $10.85 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation, KVCC has acquired the central campus of the former Good Will-Hinckley(GWH) School, which encompasses approximately 600 acres of land and more than a dozen facilities including an academic building, modern recreation center, and farm.

 

Officially announced at a press conference at the Blaine House in Augusta on Jan. 23 2012, the acquisition set the stage for a new chapter of growth at KVCC that will dominate affairs at the College for many years to come.

 

“We are deeply excited by the opportunities this expansion will bring to the region and our students,” Barbara Woodlee, KVCC President at the time of the acquisition, said. “Much work lies ahead to make our vision for this new campus a reality, but we welcome the chance to position the College for a new era.”

 

In May of 2012, the new campus was officially named KVCC’s Harold Alfond Campus to acknowledge the generosity of the late philanthropist Harold Alfond and the Foundation that bears his name.

 

The Alfond Foundation’s gift will enable the Maine Community College System to expand the capacity of KVCC by an additional 1,500 to 2,000 students by refitting and augmenting the acquired property - located seven miles north of KVCC’s current Fairfield campus.

 

A detailed master plan for the Alfond Campus is now in development. Meanwhile work to stabilize older structures and upgrade or modify existing infrastructure there is underway.

 

The property includes a mix of fields, woods, and wetlands on the west side of U.S. Route 201 roughly bounded to the south by Green Road and to the north by Martin Stream. The parcel also includes frontage on the Kennebec River to the east of 201.

 

Major structures acquired include the Alfond/Averill School building, the Alfond Recreation Center, Moody Memorial Chapel, and numerous smaller structures.

 

KVCC also acquired the former Good Will-Hinckley farm - a 120-acre property now being revitalized which is central to new farm-to-table programs in sustainable agriculture, culinary arts, and food science.

 

The campus took a huge step forward in the fall of 2013 as KVCC broke ground on a new, 16,500 square-foot classroom and laboratory building that will will be completed in time for the start of the 2014 fall semester, when KVCC will officially open the Alfond Campus. It will be the first new building on the campus.Agriculture Building

 

The building will contain classrooms, faculty offices, laboratories, a computer lab, a 60-seat tiered auditorium, a student lounge and informal learning space. This new structure is central to KVCC’s transition to a two-campus college by next fall. Many of the college’s existing academic programs currently located at the Fairfield campus will move to an existing classroom building on the Alfond Campus in Hinckley. A set of new programs – including Maine’s first two-year degree and certificate programs in sustainable agriculture, food science, and culinary arts – will be based in the new building.

 

Designed with the goal of achieving net zero energy status, the building will incorporate geothermal wells and a large photovoltaic panel array on its roof to supply electricity and energy for heating and cooling.

 

While much remains to be decided through the master planning process, other proposed development in the near-term includes:

 

* Establishing a series of agriculture-oriented programs at the farm and upgrading the farm facilities. The first of these programs, a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree program in Sustainable Agriculture, began classes in August of 2013. A second prografarmm, a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree program in Culinary Arts, will begin in  2014.

 

* Adding new parking areas on the edge of the campus core, while removing parking in the interior as part of efforts to create a more pedestrian-friendly campus.

 

* Adding a visitor’s center to the farm portion of the property.

 

* Adding a new campus entrance and drop-off loop on the Route 201 side of the campus.

 

* Building a classroom addition on the Alfond/Averill school building.

 

Ultimately, development over the next two decades may include the addition of a large auditorium, construction of residence halls for students, further development of a central campus green, expansion of parking areas and roadways, and the addition of a cafeteria.

 

The planning process included a public forum in early May of 2012 that yielded additional ideas for the campus that are being considered as the process moves forward.

 

Though geographically separated, the current KVCC campus and the new campus will be tied together by technology. As programs begin utilizing the new campus the expansion is expected to generate additional jobs for the area.

 

For KVCC these are exciting times. The acquisition has increased the College’s acreage tenfold. Programs that would have been impossible at the current campus are suddenly feasible. A campus less than two decades old has been joined by one with more than a century of history.

 

While challenges abound, the opportunities afforded by the new Alfond Campus have positioned KVCC to grow far beyond anything envisioned before. The College will be proceeding carefully as that process unfolds, guided by the needs of its students and a desire to be a good steward of the historic property.

 sustainable ag students planting garlic Fall 2013