Morrison Center to buy Wayfinder campus in New Gloucester

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NEW GLOUCESTER — Wayfinder Schools has reached an agreement to sell its 125-acre campus to a fellow-non profit, but will continue to operate a program at the former Opportunity Farm. 

The Morrison Center has agreed to purchase the property and said in a press release Friday that the property will be used as an educational and treatment facility for children. 

The Morrison Center, a non-profit based in Scarborough and Wells that supports people with disabilities, previously purchased roughly 20 acres from Wayfinder Schools and opened two residential homes on Short Bennett Road this spring. 

“Maine has a critical shortage of residential services for children with complex developmental needs, and Morrison’s vision for their new property includes establishing a nationally recognized educational and treatment facility at the New Gloucester campus,” Morrison Center Executive Director Mark Ryder said the release. “Our board of directors and staff are excited to begin work to provide residential and educational programs for Maine’s most vulnerable children.”

Wayfinder will continue to run its southern Maine Passages Program, which offers a home-based high school degree, from the New Gloucester location and will retain its campus in Camden and outreach office in Machias, the release said. 

“Our programs are making a positive difference for those who have struggled in traditional school settings, and over the years we have helped hundreds of Maine teens reach their high school graduation goals,” said Wayfinder Board Vice Chairwoman Brenda Chandler. “We will continue to do that, and are pleased that Morrison Center will shepherd the Opportunity Farm campus into the future, staying true its original intent of serving Maine youth in need.”

According to its website, Wayfinder Schools was created in 2011 when it merged two long-standing organizations: the Community School in Camden and Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester. Wayfinder Schools specializes in alternative education for adolescents with the goal of “encouraging life-long learning and providing students with the skills and experiences necessary to connect with their families, practice personal responsibility, and contribute to their communities.”

This story will be updated.