WATERVILLE — Developer Kevin Mattson plans to build a preschool for children with autism at the property of the former Seton campus of MaineGeneral Health, about two years after buying the parcel.

The 10,000-square-foot building is part of a development package that the Waterville Planning Board is scheduled to consider Monday.

Mattson also is asking for approval of a 20-acre subdivision on the Chase Avenue property, but he has no plans yet for the main hospital building.

The board also will review an amendment to the city’s institutional zone at the 30 Chase Ave. property to delete the requirement of frontage on a city street.

Mattson bought the Seton building in 2013 for $500,000. MaineGeneral fully moved out of the campus last October.

Mattson said Friday that the new building will be a new office for Woodfords Family Services, a Maine-based agency for children with autism and other developmental disabilities.


“It’s a group that provides and important service to the community, and they need a new home,” Mattson said.

His company, Waterville Redevelopment Co., is proposing a two-lot subdivision and a new single-story building. Woodfords wants to move in by the end of the year — too soon to renovate the old hospital building, Mattson added. The new building will be set between existing parking lots at the site.

“We’re not quite ready for the redevelopment of that building, and they need space right away,” he said.

The developers met with neighbors about a month ago, and reaction to the project has been “very positive,” Mattson added.

Paul Nau, executive director of Woodfords Family Services, said Friday that the company hasn’t finalized a lease for the property but hopes to move into the new building by the beginning of 2016.

The agency has five locations in Maine, including an office in Manchester and a preschool in Oakland. The plan is to move out of that school, in property on Heath Street leased from Regional School Unit 18, and into the new building, Nau said. The new site will give the agency room to expand and serve more children from the Waterville area.


“We’re really very committed to this program,” Nau said. “Waterville has been a great place for us to work and serve these kids, who come from all over central Maine.”

On Friday, Mattson said there are no current plans to build other buildings on the property, and he still doesn’t know what he intends to do with the hulking old six-story Seton hospital building.

When the purchase agreement was announced in 2013, Mattson said he might tear down the main building. But on Friday, Mattson said he would prefer to redevelop it.

With concrete construction, no central air conditioning, and low ceilings, however, redevelopment is a daunting task, Mattson said. He is still “kicking around different ideas,” including a hotel, residential units or a restaurant.

The sale of the former hospital was part of the consolidation of MaineGeneral’s inpatient services at the Alfond Center for Health in Augusta, which opened in November 2013.

Mattson also bought MaineGeneral’s Augusta hospital on East Chestnut Street in the capital city for $25 million.


At the time of the sale, city officials said development will help the city’s tax rolls. As a nonprofit organization, the hospital was not taxed.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239


Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

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