We did it! Thanks to a collaboration with Unity Foundation who offered a $100K matching grant, and thanks to our community who raised $100K between June 15 and August 15, the Ecology Learning Center now owns this spectacular new home at 230 Main Street in Unity.
The building is located right downtown in Unity which offers students immediate access to “the world as their classroom.” 230 Main Street is within walking distance of parks, trails, streams, Lake Winnecook (the largest lake in Waldo County), community center, retail businesses, food pantry, and the historical society for real-world learning opportunities.
Unity Foundation was founded in 2000 by Bert and Coral Clifford, long-time Unity, Maine residents dedicated to improving the viability of their town. The Cliffords were firm believers in providing incentives and support for economic development and civic improvement. The Cliffords commissioned the construction of the two-story, 6000-square foot brick building as headquarters for the Foundation’s work.
Our new home is sturdy, spacious and beautiful, ready to welcome learners of diverse abilities and backgrounds.
The first floor spaces consist of a front reception, rear lobby, three classrooms, three office rooms, a teacher work room, an ADA accessible restroom, hallways for lockers and transition between classes, a kitchenette, and a walk-in closet.
Second floor spaces consist of an open meeting space for classroom break-out sessions; two large classrooms for all-school gatherings with a gas fireplace and bathrooms with showers (important resource for students who experience homelessness or power outages and need a shower before school); a large classroom (formerly a board meeting room); and a copier room with a kitchenette.
An elevator provides wheelchair accessibility between the first and second floors, and to the basement. The basement consists of a mechanical room, a storage area, an elevator machine room, and a bulkhead stair to the outdoors; the basement will be used in part for storing outdoor wilderness trip gear (backpacks, tents, camping stoves, cross country skis).
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
- Maya Angelou