|Amy Whitmore, Morrison Center Director of Development|
Morrison Center Opportunity Farm on Gloucester Hill Road is making great strides towards its vision of providing services to some of the most vulnerable children in the State of Maine. The agency has launched a $14M Capital Campaign to build out about 30 acres of the property to provide residential, educational and therapy services to children from all over the state. The vision can be seen in this short video that provides the architectural rendering and narrative of the campus.
Once built, the campus will be sustainable from both a financial and environmental perspective.
Morrison Center is happy to be a part of New Gloucester, a community that cares for all its residents. The vision for the Farm is to provide homes, education and therapy services to children, many of whom are medically compromised. These children are currently in inappropriate residential settings and/or being sent out of state. Morrison Center wants to ensure Maine’s children can live and thrive here, reaching their potential.
Morrison Center has recently hired a Farm Manager with plans to use some of the property to provide food for the agency’s homes, potentially raise livestock and other animals, and use the fields, forest and lands in a responsible way.
Morrison Center’s Board of Directors and Staff would like to express its gratitude to the residents and town officials in New Gloucester; we are deeply moved at the warm welcome and continued support.
To learn more about Morrison Center Opportunity Farm and its Capital Campaign, please contact Amy Whitmore, Director of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-207-838-2177. For a digital copy of the Morrison Center Opportunity Farm Vision and Capital Campaign magazine, please send an email to Amy Whitmore at the email address above and one will be forwarded to you.
In August of 2018, Morrison Center purchased the Opportunity Farm property in New Gloucester and has plans to develop it into a children’s residential facility. Mark Ryder, Executive Director of Morrison Center said the following:
“All together, the total of 151 acres comes with three residential facilities — an old brick house, a Cape and a ranch — that were set up as such by previous owners, said Ryder. Another building, which might have once served as a dormitory, is now occupied by the Morrison Center’s administration offices. And there’s a large, old chicken barn.
“So we have short-term and long-term plans, since the properties came with three residential facilities already there.”
For the short-term, four of the residential rooms are now occupied by high school students who attend the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Falmouth. The Morrison Center is working on getting two of the other houses revamped and licensed to provide residential services for developmentally disabled children.
The nonprofit will launch a large capital campaign to revamp the entire facility. The campaign’s monetary goal is still to be determined. Time-wise, the goal is to officially launch the campaign in early 2019. It’s expected the campaign will run for two years.
Money from the campaign will go mostly to building new structures, like cottages specifically designed to address client needs, like traumatic brain injury and autism, as well as housing for visiting parents, Ryder said.
He added, “We see as the heart of the facility a variety of specialized cottages that would care for the type of students that Morrison has been taking care of since the 1950s.”
Ryder said industry data shows there’s a significant need for residential care for Morrison’s target population. Currently, he said, many of those students are placed out of state or in an adult nursing facility. The short-term build-out of three buildings will offer eight bedrooms each, for a total of 24 clients, he said.