Southern Maine Community College announced plans to address damage and instability at the Fort Preble site after recent damaging storms and years of erosion.

“Our South Portland campus is a gift,” Southern Maine Community College Interim President Tiffanie Bentley said in a Sept. 7 news release. “As a community, SMCC takes our stewardship of this treasured landmark very seriously. We will do everything within our means to keep it from further degradation so that it remains a source of inspiration and education for students and visitors for years to come.”

Visitors take photographs of a damaged Fort Preble in South Portland in December 2022. Following a survey of the area, Southern Maine Community College worked with Tec Associates to develop plans to stabilize the fort. Shawn Patrick Ouellette photo/Press Herald

Following a survey of the area, Southern Maine Community College worked with Tec Associates to develop plans to stabilize the fort, and, according to the press release, Great Falls Construction has been selected to do the work. The scope of work includes fencing in the areas most at risk, adding erosion control measures, including sub-drainage, removing unstable granite blocks, cataloging the locations from which the blocks are removed and storing the granite blocks safely on the site so that they can be reassembled at a future time when funding allows.

The stabilization project is expected to be completed by late November 2023.

During the project, contractors will erect a barrier around the site to ensure their personnel’s safety, the college community and visitors. The administration kindly asks for everyone’s cooperation during this time to ensure everyone who wants to enjoy the landscape at Southern Maine Community College and Fort Preble can do so with safety at the top of the list.

Fort Preble, one of Maine’s most historic installations, was built in the early 1800s to defend Portland Harbor during the War of 1812. The fort was named after Portland native Commodore Edward Preble, a naval hero who served during the Barbary Wars. Over the years, the U.S. used Fort Preble for a variety of military purposes, including as a training facility for soldiers during World War II. The fort was deactivated in 1950 and in 1952, the state of Maine obtained it and converted it into a facility for the Maine Vocational Technical Institute, which ultimately became Southern Maine Community College.


The fort is also a breakwater for Portland harbor. A breakwater is a structure built along a shoreline to protect boats and ships from the force of waves and currents. It is typically made of large rocks or concrete blocks and is designed to absorb the impact of the waves and redirect their energy away from the harbor or marina. Additional breakwater construction began in 1837 after a severe storm destroyed wharves and houses along the Portland/South Portland shoreline.

Today, the fort remains a popular Maine tourist attraction. For more information on the project, visit

Lyric Music Theater will host Sound of Music

The Lyric Music Theater will host Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, Sept. 22 through Oct. 8. The theater is located at 176 Sawyer St. in South Portland.

The Lyric Music Theater will host Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, Sept. 22 through Oct. 8. Courtesy photo/Emma Eukitis

The shows are scheduled for Sept. 22 through Oct. 8; Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 23 at 2p.m.. There is no Sunday matinee on Sept. 24. Tickets are $20.00 for children and seniors; $25 for adults.

For tickets or more information, call the box office at 207-799-1421 or visit


Based on the true story of the von Trapp Family Singers, The Sound of Music is one of the world’s most beloved musicals. Featuring a trove of cherished songs, including “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and the title number, The Sound of Music has won the hearts of audiences worldwide, earning five Tony Awards.

South Portland Food Cupboard salutes donors

The South Portland Food Cupboard, according to a Sept. 18 news release, has seen a 48 percent increase in recipients this year, which has driven a 71 percent increase in its food budget. To meet the unprecedented demand, the food cupboard has seen continued support from local businesses, organizations and key donors in the community.

Sybil Reimensnider, founder of the South Portland Food Cupboard 26 years ago, and Norm and Agnes Dugas at a recognition event. Courtesy photo

Last week it celebrated the support with a reception honoring those that have helped support the food cupboard over the years.

“Without this support, the food cupboard couldn’t meet their growing mission to feed their neighbors in need,” said Dwayne Hopkins, executive director of the food cupboard, in an email. “We offer our recipients hope and dignity in the form of food.”

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