The Cobscook Community Learning Center received great news last week when word of an anonymous $1.2 million grant came through the door. This funding propels the CCLC within $300,000 of finishing the $2.5 million campaign to complete the Heartwood Lodge campaign in its entirety, including a second building that expands classroom space.
“We couldn’t be happier or more honored that this gift has been offered to support this work,” says CCLC Executive Director, Alan Furth. “It’s an endorsement of the impact that the center can and will have on the world of education. It’s also a reflection of a lot of hard work on the part of our staff, board, and capital campaign committee.” The committee, co-chaired by Janet Weston of Trescott and Sue Crawford of Robbinston, has been working for the past four years to raise the necessary funds.
Originally, the campaign was to build two buildings: one for residential capacity and another that offers expanded classroom and learning space. “This is a tough climate for capital fundraising,” says Furth, “and we decided to reduce our initial goal to include only the residential building. We imagined raising the funds for the classroom building at a later date. This gift puts the entire project – both buildings – within reach. We plan to start building this summer.”
Heartwood Lodge is a fifty-bed facility that adds residential capacity to the CCLC’s Trescott campus. This will allow the center to offer longer-term, multi-day programs, and to attract larger scale offerings. “We look forward to offering more immersion programs in the arts and music. We can increase our summer camp offerings and serve as a place for families to come learn about health through retreats on diet and fitness. Additionally, we have been in conversation with the University of New England, the University of Maine, and other institutions for years about intensive programming that could happen once we have overnight facilities,” explains Furth. “Heartwood Lodge is the key to turning those ideas into reality.” Having the classroom building in place also furthers these partnerships, as it can house all the programs made possible by the Lodge. Additionally, having overnight facilities allows the center to market itself as a conference and retreat center, to house Road Scholar programs, and more. “These are the types of programs that can generate real revenue. We’ve done the business plan, and we know that this building will sustain itself and help keep the center afloat for a long time.”
The building will be built by local people using as many local materials as possible. “That’s been our commitment from the start,” offers Janet Weston, co-chair of the Heartwood Lodge capital campaign. “We’re using local lumber and local contractors and sub-contractors. Supporting the local economy, while furthering the center’s educational mission, is what this building has always been about.”
Another grant, from Efficiency Maine, received just a couple of weeks ago, partially funds the purchase and installation of a wood-fired heating and hot water system large enough to convert the entire campus. This system will eliminate the center’s use of heating oil. “That allows us to put more of our dollars into the local economy,” adds Jim Miner, CCLC Board President and Chair of the Heartwood Lodge Construction Committee. “We can purchase wood directly from local people who grow and harvest it, and put that money to work right here where we live.”
Efforts to raise the remaining $300,000 are already underway. For more information about Heartwood Lodge, or to make a contribution, call (207) 733-2233 or visit www.cclc.me.