A Colby College employee drives Wednesday on campus in Waterville, where construction of a residence hall is expected to begin in the fall and be completed in 2026. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — Colby College plans to build a 109,000-square-foot residence hall on campus that would house 217 students and be ready for occupancy in the fall of 2026, a Colby official told the Waterville Planning Board on Tuesday night.

Holly MacKenzie, project engineer in Colby’s facilities services department, presented an informal preapplication review for the project, to 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 board is scheduled to consider preliminary and final plans for the residence hall May 14 under the city’s subdivision and site plan review ordinance.

The board voted 7-0 on Tuesday to waive a requirement in that ordinance that abutters must be notified of the project, as it will be constructed in the center of the large Colby campus.

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

The building, with a brick exterior, is expected to have six wings, making it appear on the site plan as if there are six buildings where actually there is only one, she said. Some areas of the building will have four stories and some will have three, according to MacKenzie.


Board member Cassie Julia said it appears the residence hall will be very close to the road. MacKenzie confirmed that is the case.

She said preliminary site work, including utility work, is scheduled to begin at the end of May, with construction to start in the fall.

In response to a question from Julia about whether Colby is looking to expand its student body, MacKenzie said the residence hall is being built to accommodate past and continuing growth, and is expected to alleviate a housing crunch.

“There will be no additional parking needs,” she said, responding to a question about parking.

Asked about the cost of the project, MacKenzie said that is not being disclosed at this time.


The new residence hall will be the latest in a host of construction projects Colby has completed over the past few years, both on campus and off.

The $95 million Gordon Center opened last year on campus. In 2020, construction was completed on the $200 million Harold Alfond Athletic and Recreation Center. New athletic fields have also been built.

In recent years, Colby built the $25 million Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, which houses some 200 students and faculty members; the $6 million Greene Block + Studios; the $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.

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