The lighting on the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons has brightened Main Street in Waterville just as the darkest days of late fall descend upon the region.

The building itself has been spotlighted by GrowSmart Maine, a nonprofit that encourages growth within the historical and “natural” context of a community. The nonprofit has named the Commons one of six outstanding projects in the nonprofit’s first year of recognizing such developments with Smart Growth Awards.

Smart growth, according to a news release from the nonprofit, “encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement,” criteria the Commons fulfills with its residential units; community, education and retail spaces; and its attention to diversifying transportation with some 60 percent of Colby students walking, riding a bicycle or taking the college shuttle while minimizing new auto traffic.

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