The Waterville Planning Board is scheduled to consider approving final plans Tuesday for a 217-room dormitory at Colby College, and a preliminary plan for a 40-unit apartment complex at 15 Washington St., shown above. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — The Planning Board is scheduled to consider approving final plans Tuesday for a 217-room dormitory at Colby College, and a preliminary plan for a 40-unit apartment complex on Washington Street.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the City Hall Annex at 46 Front St.

On April 23, a Colby official presented informal pre-application plans for the 109,000-square-foot residence hall on campus that would house 217 students and be ready for occupancy in the fall of 2026.

Holly MacKenzie, project engineer in Colby’s facilities services department, said the dormitory would be built on Mayflower Hill Drive, north of and diagonally across the street from the new, 72,000-square-foot Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

The Planning Board voted 7-0 in April to waive a requirement in the city’s site plan review ordinance that abutters must be notified of the project. The board waived the requirement because the dormitory is to be built in the center of the large Colby campus.

MacKenzie said the new building, to be named The Residence on Mayflower Hill Drive, would be built at the corner of Cotter Drive and Mayflower Hill Drive, on what is now a wooded and grassy area.


The brick building is expected to have six wings, making it appear on the site plan as if there would be six buildings, when there would actually be one. Some areas of the residence hall would have four stories and some three, according to MacKenzie.

Preliminary site work, including utility work, is scheduled to begin at the end of this month, with construction to start in the fall, MacKenzie said. The residence hall would help accommodate Colby’s past and continuing growth, and alleviate a housing crunch.

The new building would become the latest of several on- or off-campus projects Colby has completed over the past few years, including the $25 million Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, which houses some 200 students and faculty members; $6 million Greene Block + Studios; $18 million Paul J. Schupf Art Center; and the $26 million Lockwood Hotel, which includes the Front & Main restaurant, all of which are on Main Street in downtown Waterville.

In a separate proposal, John Jabar Jr. and his son, John Jabar III, want to build up to four residential buildings at 15 Washington St. on about 3.5 acres, and develop eight apartments in each five-story building. Initial plans called for four 3-bedroom apartments and four 2-bedroom units.

Underground parking for tenants, an elevator and outside parking for visitors are also proposed.

The City Council voted 6-0 on Sept. 6, 2023, to approve rezoning the property from Commercial-C to Commercial-A to allow for the project. On May 23, 2023, the council referred to the Planning Board for hearing and recommendation a request to rezone the property. The Planning Board voted last July to recommend rezoning.

John Jabar Jr. told city councilors last year  he has done a lot of development in Portland and wants to help with housing demands in Waterville, where he was born and raised. He said many people have approached him about developing housing in the city.

The development would be adjacent to the building that houses the Waterville AAA Office at 13 Washington St., a few hundred yards from the intersection with Kennedy Memorial Drive.

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