In an effort to revitalize the historic downtown, Colby College worked with the City of Waterville and other partners to rejuvenate a four-block section that transformed Main Street into a destination for visitors, residents and new businesses.
A signature piece of the master plan is the new 100,000-SF, five-story Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons that houses 200 students in four- and six-bedroom units with full kitchens and common living areas on the upper floors. The new building includes two-bedroom apartments for Colby faculty members and one-bedroom units for resident assistants. Glassed-in spaces on the upper floors serve as student common areas and are visible to people on the streets below.
The corner of the building at Main and Appleton Streets features a 3,800-SF glassed-in community forum, the Chace Community Forum, and is used by students as part of a special curriculum involving community engagement. The forum is also used as a meeting space for Colby, the Waterville City Council, non-profit organizations and other community groups. The ground floor also includes retail space for Camden National Bank.
The project has received numerous awards including a 2019 AGC Build Maine Award, a 2019 MEREDA Top 6 Most Notable Projects, and a 2019 GrowSmart Award.