WATERVILLE- Some colleges aren’t connected to the cities they’re located in but officials from Colby College do not believe that statement applies to them.
Early Tuesday morning, Colby College President David Green presented the findings of an independent study on the economic impact the school has had on Waterville and Maine as a whole.
He said that impact has been grand.
From 2014 to 2018, the study estimated Colby College contributed more than $1.1 billion dollars to the greater Waterville region and $1.5 billion to the state of Maine.
“Colby is in growth mode. Higher education can very much be a growth industry for the state of Maine as well. We’re hoping that there’s some examples of what’s happening here at Colby and in Waterville that can resonate across the state,” said Colby Vice President of Planning Brian Clark.
Green said the investments and projects the college has funded and sponsored over the years have created jobs in the area and attract more people.
“We’re seeing a city that after decades of decline of the population are now coming back up to where it was in 1996 and it continues to grow. We’re seeing more jobs here, we’re seeing employment opportunities and a labor force growing in Waterville at rates that are totally different than our surrounding counties,” Green said.
President Green also said some of the development projects recently completed or currently being worked on include a new athletic complex, creation of the Main Street Commons, a new arts center, new retail stores, and even a new hotel.
He said all of those projects add to the quality of life in the city of Waterville.
“For Colby, our philosophy is being a part of the city not apart from it. Everything that we do is about being a committed member of this community and a real partner with Waterville overall,” Green said.