South Portland board approves STRIVE expansion

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The Planning Board on Tuesday approved the site plan for an expansion of the STRIVE campus at 28 Foden Rd.

The project will enable the nonprofit to grow its services for teens and young adults with emotional and intellectual disabilities.

The 1.5-acre campus now includes two buildings. The approved expansion allows construction of an additional building of approximately 3,000 square feet that will serve as classroom space with improved wheelchair access and “integrated technology and updated safety features,” Katie Collins, STRIVE program manager, said. 

Since its inception, the organization has “seen a steady increase in participation,” and “we have quickly outgrown our current space,” Collins said Thursday. 

The organization, founded 15 years ago, offers nine programs and operates out of three sites, including the two-year residential STRIVE U in the west end of Portland, which focuses on “transition, residential living, post-secondary education and employment,” Collins said.

Approximately $1.2 million has been raised to fund the expansion, “and we have another $440,000 to go,” Peter Brown, associate director for PSL Services, told the Planning Board at the July 14 meeting. The remaining amount will be drawn from reserves.

Planning Board member Linda Boudreau said the addition will be a “win-win for everyone.”

“Obviously STRIVE is going to benefit from these classrooms,” Boudreau said, “and the city benefits because this is an improvement of the property.”

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.