The Children’s Discovery Museum in Augusta plans to move in spring 2019 to the former American Legion Hall at 21 College Ave. in Waterville, tripling the size of its current space on Capitol Street, museum officials announced Thursday.

“Having considered many possible sites throughout central Maine, this building, which housed the Bourque Lanigan Legion for many decades, was a preferred option for the Museum,” officials said in a news release. “The Museum aims to open its new doors with brand new exhibits in spring of 2019.”

Waterville businessman Bill Mitchell bought the former legion hall in late October while coordinating with the museum as a cornerstone tenant, the release said.

Emilie Knight, the museum’s community programs and relations coordinator, said Thursday that the museum needed to find a level of sustainability.

“Waterville just kind of fit the ticket in a lot of ways because of what’s going on downtown,” Knight said.

The 10,000-square-foot ground floor of the former American Legion Hall in Waterville will house the Children’s Discovery Museum. Staff photo by David Leaming

She was referring to an ambitious revitalization effort in downtown Waterville that includes Colby College’s mixed-use residential complex on Main Street. The Colby building will house retail businesses on the ground floor and about 200 Colby students and staff members on upper floors who will be involved in a civic engagement and community service curriculum.

The former Legion hall has a mix of other space available for rent, which Mitchell hopes will attract child- and family-oriented businesses and organizations.

Mitchell owns GHM Insurance Agency on Main Street and is a partner in The Proper Pig Restaurant on Common Street downtown. Mitchell, who bought two historic buildings on Common Street as part of downtown revitalization efforts, also owns and manages commercial real estate throughout Waterville. The Proper Pig is located in one of his buildings on Common Street.

“I am happy to assist the children’s museum in their move to Waterville because they will undoubtedly bring great cultural and economic energy to our city,” Mitchell said in the release.

Updates about the museum move are available at childrensdiscoverymuseum.org/waterville.

Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:

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