WATERVILLE — Colby College President David Greene and Thomas College President Laurie Lachance will talk Thursday morning about investments the colleges are making to help spur the economy.

The two are the featured speakers in the Business Breakfast Series, sponsored by Thomas and the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce. It will take place from 7:15 to 9 a.m. in the Summit Room at Spann Student Commons on the Thomas campus off West River Road.

“Laurie is going to do a brief overview of what’s going on at Thomas and the investments it is making to grow its campus and its presence in Waterville,” said Kimberly Lindlof, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer. “David Greene is going to talk about the collaboration with the city of Waterville, the work that Colby has done with its consultants and the findings they came up with and how they hope to help grow the economy in Waterville through Colby’s investments and vision.”

Greene for the last several months has held meetings with city officials, business people and downtown advocates to explore ways to help improve the downtown, better connect downtown to the riverfront and Hathaway Creative Center, enhance the arts and cultural offerings and revitalize downtown.

Ideas that came out of the meeting include developing student and faculty housing, more retail shops, galleries and a boutique hotel downtown.

Colby recently bought three deteriorating buildings on Main Street downtown — the Hains building at 173 Main St., the former Levine’s clothing store at 9 Main St. and the former tattoo parlor building at 16-20 Main — and the plan is to renovate the buildings or in some cases, raze buildings and work with investors and/or developers to transform the spaces into viable uses.


Greene is encouraging investors to follow suit and help with the downtown rejuvenation effort. Following in that vein, GHM Insurance Agency owner Bill Mitchell recently bought two historic buildings at 14-18 and 20-24 Common St. and plans to lease the first floor of one to a restaurant and develop offices and artist spaces in the buildings. One of the buildings already houses Common Street Arts.

Those wanting to attend the business breakfast Thursday are asked to call the chamber at 873-3315 or email [email protected], according to Lindlof. The cost is $19 for those registering before Wednesday, or $25 for nonchamber members at the door.

“Preregistration is not required, but it’s strongly recommended,” she said. “We want to make sure we have enough tables and chairs and food for everyone.”

Chamber members, Thomas and Colby staff members and city and Winslow officials are among those expected to attend the event, Lindlof said.

The Business Breakfast Series has been held at least 20 years, according to Lindlof. Former speakers have included gubernatorial candidates, governors and business people, including human resources directors.

The event typically draws more than 100 attendees, according to Lindlof.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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