Sometimes, capacity-building really is just about making something larger to handle more people. In 2007, the Unity Foundation awarded a $200,000 challenge grant to the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, an outreach center for the University of Maine in Orono with the potential to play an important local role. The challenge grant enticed other funders, including Waldo County General Hospital to support the facility’s growth.
The Hutchinson Center doubled in size to meet Midcoast demand, and now offers University courses in the sciences, arts, and nursing among others.
The Hutchinson Center also offers unparalleled conference facilities for the Midcoast Leadership Academy (MLA) and other business gatherings. Each year, the Center serves as one of three satellite locations for the internationally renowned Camden Conference.
Finally, the Hutchinson Center is also home to the Senior College. Unaffiliated with the University, the Senior College meets the intellectual needs of more than 400 Midcoast residents over the age of fifty.