Bath’s Merrymeeting Center for Child Development to relocate, expand at Brunswick Landing

Posted March 07, 2013, at 7:28 p.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — The Merrymeeting Center for Child Development, a private school serving children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities, will relocate from Bath to Brunswick Landing pending completion of negotiations with Topsham developer Jim Howard of Priority Group LLC.

The Merrymeeting Center and three associated programs, including preschool and child care, are operated by Providence Service Corp. of Maine, a 13-year-old subsidiary of the national Providence Service Corp., the largest provider of home- and community-based behavioral health services in the country, according to the company.

The center provides services for children “who struggle in a typical school environment,” Beattie said. It also provides child care, developmental preschool and home- and community-based treatment programs. The Bath center employs 90 professionals.

On Tuesday, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, the entity charged with overseeing redevelopment of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, authorized executive director Steve Levesque to negotiate a $1.1 million purchase and sale agreement with Howard for the former Navy lodge and adjacent recreation building. Howard said Tuesday that he would make $1.5 million in renovations.

Bart Beattie, executive director of Providence Service Corp. of Maine, said Thursday the renovations would create space for the existing Merrymeeting Center and allow room to substantially expand the number of students and staff.

“As soon as we hit the new space, we hope to be expanding,” Beattie said. “We’re hoping to actually be able to recruit some new students, as well as child care and preschool students, prior to moving in.”

Providence Service Corp. of Maine holds a full mental health license with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and is in compliance with all requirements, spokesman John Martins said Thursday. The Merrymeeting Center is an approved private special-purpose school, according to Maine Department of Education spokesman David Connerty-Marin.

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