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Business and Economy

Colby, Foundation to Put $20M into Downtown Revitalization

WATERVILLE, Maine - Waterville's downtown revitalization will get $20 million more in funding from the Harold Alfond Foundation and Colby College.

Officials announced last night that the Alfond Foundation will give $10 million to a special fund for revitalization, as will the college.

Kate Carlisle, director of communications at Colby, says in 1929, when Colby wasn't sure of its future, the community raised the money to help buy the college a new site for its campus.

"Now Waterville is in a position where the mills closed some time ago, and the downtown has become a little less vibrant," Carlisle says. "It's time for Colby to really see how they can partner with civic leaders and non-profits, and arts leaders and business people, to help Waterville out."

The funding is part of a collaboration by Colby, Waterville and downtown businesses to revitalize downtown Waterville. That money will be used for projects including the redevelopment of the former Levine's clothing store as a hotel, and building a new student apartment complex downtown.

The college and developers have purchased several buildings in the area for renovation.