Freeport Waldorf school completes $6.3M addition

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FREEPORT — Maine’s only early childhood-through-grade-12 Waldorf school has completed a $6.3 million addition to its campus.

Maine Coast Waldorf School dedicated a new high school building Oct. 10. The two-story, 10,600-square-foot building is on the school’s 75-acre Desert Road campus. 

The high school includes a student center, faculty and administrative offices, conference rooms for teachers and students, and seven classrooms – two of which are dedicated solely for art and science.

Maine Coast Waldorf School rented space at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester since 2007 to house high school students. Development Director Lynn Espy said it was always the school’s hope to unite the high school with lower grades in Freeport.

“The concept of a high school (on Desert Road) was envisioned when the school began in 1984,” Espy said. “We’ve had the land since 2003, we just didn’t have the (student) capacity (to merit a new building).”

High school enrollment reached 65 students this year, up from 37 in 2012. MCWS has also seen a school-wide increase in enrollment from 219 in 2012 to 262 this year – the largest in the school’s 34-year history.

The school’s shuttles students to and from the Freeport campus from as far south as Cape Elizabeth every day. 

Espy said planning for the new building began in 2015.

Briburn, a Portland-based architectural firm, designed the new  building to meet net-zero energy demands – Passive House and Maine Advanced Building certifications – demonstrating the school’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Warren Construction Group broke ground last year. 

“People are thrilled that the building reflects our environmental commitment and values,” Espy said. “(The windows) give beautiful views and great light … you feel like you are in nature.” 

Charitable donations of $4.3 million went toward the campus expansion – including $1 million from The Windover Foundation for the high school and $20,000 from the Davis Family Foundation for construction of an educational support center, which was added to the campus’s existing grade 1-4 building. The school borrowed $2 million from Gorham Savings Bank.

The school’s Community Hall is also undergoing expansion to include a main office building, a new cafe and commercial kitchen, and music and performing arts classrooms. The office has been completed and the other two additions are slated to be wrapped up by the end of the year. 

The public is invited to tour the new and updated facilities at a Nov. 4 Fall Fair and Open House. 

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or jvansaun@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

Maine Coast Waldorf School dedicated a 10,600-square-foot high school on Desert Road in Freeport on Oct. 10. The entire expansion – including an educational support center and renovations to the campus Community Hall – cost $6.3 million. 

The two-story high school includes seven classrooms, a student center, faculty and administrative offices, and conference rooms for teachers and students. 

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