News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, March 21, 2019
Work on learning center reaches final stages

The center of it all

A cupola towers over the interior center of the Community Childhood Learning Place in Castine.

Photo by Monique Labbe Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Monique Labbe

After what has been a years-long project, Nancy Sayre can “finally see the light at the end of the tunnel” as work continues at the Community Childhood Learning Place on Windmill Hill in Castine.

Currently, the outside of the building has been fitted with windows and doors, as well as trim, and topped with a cupola. Roofing will go on as soon as the snow melts, said Sayre.

The bulk of the work that is left on the building is interior, as walls have to go up, electrical work needs to be done and piping for all sinks, toilets, etc. needs to be installed.

“There’s still a lot to do, but it’s finally coming together,” said Sayre.

Once completed, the childcare center will boast three age-appropriate classrooms, an office space, conference room, bathrooms and cubbies to serve the needs of all the students. At the center of it all will be a studio.

Work on the center has been a “complete community effort,” as organizations and private donors have given money for supplies, both structurally and classroom needs such as chairs, desks, sinks, etc. since Sayre and the board of directors began raising funds for the project.

Those donations, as well as several grants that Sayre has been able to obtain, have helped the project remain as “cost efficient” as it can, she said. As they begin nearing completion, Sayre said they will need more money to get to the finish line.

“People always step up though,” she said. “Every time there is a need [for more money] someone always seems to be there exactly when we need them.”

Sayre said a tentative opening date has been set for August 1, and the board has been busy drafting job descriptions for a director and lead teacher, and salaries for both. Both positions will need to be filled, and additional staffing hired, prior to the opening of the center.

“I can see it all in my head,” said Sayre of the completed building, both interior and exterior. “I’m anxious for it to finally be out of my head and see it come to fruition.”

To donate to the Community Childhood Learning Center, checks can be sent to PO Box 344, Castine, ME 04421. Donations can also be made online at

Coming together

Windows and doors have been installed, and construction on the Community Childhood Learning Place continues with a tentative opening date of August 1.

Photo by Monique Labbe
The center of it all

A cupola towers over the interior center of the Community Childhood Learning Place in Castine.

Photo by Monique Labbe
The construction continues

While the walls have yet to be put in, the inside of the Community Childhood Learning Place in Castine is sectioned off into rooms.

Photo by Monique Labbe