- The Times Record
$1.8M expansion of Providence Service completed
A mental health organization that provides services to autistic children has expanded at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. Providence Service Corporation has completed a 9,000- square-foot, $1.8 million expansion of its development of the former Navy Recreation Mall on Pegasus Street. The newly renovated space consists of administrative offices, conference rooms and veterans space. The expansion was announced Monday by Topsham-based commercial real estate investor and developer Priority Real Estate Group. Priority invested a total of $4.5 million into the campus that consists of two buildings — the former recreation building at 62 Pegasus St. and the former Navy Lodge at 16 Burbank Ave. Construction began in April and was completed last month. Providence provides behavioral health services for children with autism, and serves 275 children at their Brunswick Landing location. Providence has been in operation in Maine for since 1999. It had negotiated the deal with developer Jim Howard of Priority Group in Topsham and signed leases in 2013 for more than 26,000 square feet of space in two buildings. In Maine, Providence employs more than 325 staff and is the largest provider of home-based behavioral health treatment services to children and families in the state. Nationally, Providence is the largest provider of home and community-based behavioral health services and non-emergency medical transportation in the country. The completed phase of the Brunswick Landing project allows an additional 60 Providence employees to relocate to the Brunswick Landing, bringing the total number of Providence employees at Brunswick Landing to 150, making them the largest single employer at the former base, according to Priority. “A few years ago, we had a vision of creating a state-of the art treatment and educational facility at Brunswick Landing that could help the youth and families we serve integrate into the growing community there,” said Bart Beattie, the CEO of Providence’s operations in Maine, in the release. He added: “We envisioned the people we serve having the opportunity to be educated, find meaningful employment, and become engaged community members through partnerships with the educational centers and growing industries that exist at the former air station. We are pleased to see this vision come to fruition through this relocation and expansion of our programming.” The project also includes an expansion for the Midcoast Veterans Resource Center at 62 Pegasus St., a nonprofit organization that seeks to enhance each veteran’s ability to support and care for themselves and their families by providing a welcoming and safe environment. The center is run by the Mid-Coast Veterans Council, which provides assistance obtaining benefits, services and resources to meet the needs of veterans and support their reintegration into the community. An additional conference room and office space were added for the veterans, according to Priority, which donated $250,000 in renovation costs and leases the space for $1 a year for five years. Since opening in September of 2013, the Midcoast Veterans Resource Center has served more than 250 veterans and their families with a staff of 16 volunteers.