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Arts and Culture

Intercultural Community Center Celebrates Expanded Westbrook Facility

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Ari Snider
/
Maine Public
ICC treasurer and co-founder Didier Hakizimana, at right, speaks after the formal ribbon cutting ceremony for the new wing, which includes classrooms and office space.

After a long delay caused by the pandemic, the Intercultural Community Center in Westbrook held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new teaching facilities earlier this week.

The ICC was founded in 2014 by members of Westbrook’s Rwandan community to support youth through after-school programs, and now offers year-round programming to people of all ages, regardless of immigration status.

Construction on the new wing was completed back in the spring of 2020, but the Center wasn’t able to use the space until it resumed in-person programming this summer.

ICC treasurer and co-founder Didier Hakizimana said the new space will help to accommodate growing enrollment and allow the ICC to tailor its programs by “grouping kids in different grades and [being] able to provide them with more focus than it used to be, because kids are setup in the classroom based on their grades and their needs.”

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Ari Snider
Students enrolled in ICC's summer program using one of the Center's new classrooms.

Divine Nduwimana, ICC’s Adult Program Coordinator, called the expansion an important step for the Center’s growth.

"The new space means that ICC is hoping, and pushing, to be a resource center which welcomes everybody,” Nduwimana said.

The construction cost upwards of $500,000, about half of which came through a grant from the Westbrook-based Cornelia Warren Community Association. The rest of the funds were raised through the Bethel Christian Center, where many of the ICC’s founders attend church.