Watershed School purchases downtown Camden building

School finds permanent home in downtown Camden
Nov 02, 2017
Courtesy of: Watershed School Watershed School's new building at 1 Free St., Camden.

CAMDEN — Watershed School, an independent high school, has purchased the building located at 1 Free St. for its permanent home.

Just one block from the school's current location in downtown Camden, 1 Free St. was built in 1994, and contains more than 7,500 square feet. This is more than double the size of the school's current space at the corner of Mechanic and Washington streets. The additional space will mean more classrooms, a bigger gathering area and enough room for additional facilities, such as science, design and metal-smithing labs, a library, a student lounge and a kitchen.

The move comes just as Watershed is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

"We are very pleased to have a permanent home in Camden," Will Galloway, head of school, said Nov. 2. "It's been 15 years in the making."

Galloway said Watershed School has been developing a strong academic program and relationships in the Midcoast over that time.

"We're particularly pleased to be in downtown Camden because so much of our academic program connects with the community," he said.

This is the right time to invest in a permanent home for Watershed School, according to Galloway.

“Enrollment is growing and interest in Watershed School is higher than ever," Galloway said. "More students are searching for an intellectually challenging program that also provides meaningful connections; to their work, their teachers, their community and each other."

Watershed opened its doors in Rockland in 2003, with a move to the current location in the Knox Mill building in Camden in 2012. The school takes full advantage of its Midcoast location, partnering with organizations such as the Camden Conference, the Camden Opera House, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, The Jackson Laboratory, The Steel House (an art, design and technology collective), Bay Chamber Concerts and the town of Camden.

Watershed is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, is a Maine State Approved High School, and a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.

1 Free St. was acquired from the Bennett T. Scheuer Learning Center LLC, which applied a generous donation to the purchase price, according to Galloway.

"I’m honored to be able to support Watershed’s program, on behalf of my brother,” said Lee Scheuer. "I have been so impressed with the alumni, board members, administration, faculty and current students.  It has been a pleasure working with the school to make their new campus a reality."

Watershed has launched a New Schoolhouse capital initiative campaign to raise the remaining funds for the purchase of the building, as well as upcoming renovations. Donations may be made online at watershed-school.org/newschoolhouse.

Those interested in learning more about Watershed School are invited to an Information Night Monday, Nov. 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at 1 Free St. in Camden. Parents and students will have the opportunity to sample classes, tour the new building and participate in a special campfire question-and-answer session in the new building’s outdoor space. Soup, cider and s’mores will be served.

1 Free St. was built by MBNA to serve as a daycare facility and then became the Seton School in 2008, a school for children with disabilities.

For further information, call 230-7341 or visit watershed-school.org.

Courier Publications Assistant Editor Susan Mustapich can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at smustapich@villagesoup.com.

Comments (3)
Posted by: Deborah Meehan | Nov 03, 2017 06:58

Congratulations to all at Watershed for your success over 15 years. This is a great move for the school, for the mid-coast and for Camden. Well done!

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Nov 02, 2017 21:23

No mention of the amount needed to raise.

Posted by: ananur forma | Nov 02, 2017 19:44

I hope they leave the dedication to Bennett up there on the side of the building. I knew Bennettt in junior high and high school in Mamaroneck, N.Y. I get warm fuzzies when I drive by...He was voted "best looking," in high school. As a grown person, he was an amazingly kind generous thoughtful person ALWAYS to be remembered.*  I' m 100% sure that the people here who knew him would say the same........  and...congratulations to the Watershed School, such a blessing for a fine school.

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