Freeport Waldorf school to expand campus

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FREEPORT — The Maine Coast Waldorf School has launched a $6.1 million capital campaign that includes three major projects.

The campaign, which is the largest in the school’s history, will create a new high school campus, expand the school’s Community Hall building, and create an educational support center. Most of the work is expected to be completed next year.

The private, co-ed school, which was founded in 1984, has a main campus on Desert Road and a high school in New Gloucester. The capital campaign, which is called the One Campaign, aims to consolidate all facilities in Freeport.

The plan for the new high school, which will be at 57 Desert Road, was first announced in July. The current high school facility has been rented from Pineland Farms since 2007.

“Having the new high school building on the Freeport campus will fulfill our decade-long dream of uniting the entire school,” teacher David Sloan said in a press release. “The older and younger students alike will finally be able to mutually benefit from daily contact.”

The new high school will be next to the lower-level school, which has a nursery and serves kindergarten through eighth grade. The high school, which will be a two-story building of just over 11,000 square feet, will accommodate more than 80 students.

Development Director Lynn Espy said the new high school will support Maine Coast Waldorf School’s increasing enrollment. There was a student population of 250 last year, and about a dozen new students joined this year.

“This past year’s interest in our Waldorf high school was the highest we’ve ever seen,” Admissions Director Lyn Baird said in a press release. “I expect that once the high school is located in Freeport, and people see it, the demand will only increase.”

The high school is expected to be completed by next fall.

Expansion of the school’s Community Hall will begin with the addition of a new central office. The building will also contain a new cafe and kitchen for high school students, an expanded teaching space for the school’s garden program, an event area, and two flex spaces for music and drama programs.

“The Community Hall will become the true hub of the Desert Road campus,” Board President Susan Stark said in a press release.

The third major project is an educational support center that will be added to the lower-grades building. It will provide work space for small groups and individuals. 

According to third-grade teacher Caitlin Pow, the support center will give children “extra support – or the added challenge – when they need it.”

The capital campaign also includes fundraising to improve parking lots, upgrade cross-country trails and a barn, and create a new athletic field.

Of the $6.1 million, $2 million has been acquired through a loan from Bangor Savings Bank, according to Espy. The goal is to raise the rest of the money; as of Monday, $3.8 million had been raised through fundraising, donations, and grants. 

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

A new, two-story high school will be built by the Maine Coast Waldorf School at its main campus on Desert Road in Freeport.

Maine Coast Waldorf School in Freeport plans to expand Community Hall under a new, $6.1 million capital campaign.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.