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February 5, 2018

New Gloucester property marks turning point for Day One

Courtesy / Day One
Courtesy / Day One
A 1795 farmhouse at 934 Intervale Road in New Gloucester will be Day One's new residential facility.

The purchase of a completely renovated historic farmhouse in New Gloucester marks a turning point for Day One, Maine's leading agency addressing youth substance use.

Day One purchased the 1795 farmhouse, located at 934 Intervale Road in New Gloucester, from Larry Zuckerman for $570,000. Sam LeGeyt of Harnden Commercial Brokers represented the buyer and Chris Griffith of Great Moose Group Lux Realty represented the seller. The deal closed Jan. 12.

The farmhouse was renovated in 2006 by the Libra Foundation, the Portland nonprofit whose title-holding entity owns Pineland Farms not far away. The renovation included a new 22-foot by 30-foot three-story addition, with attention paid to period details and energy efficiency through Energy Star certified systems.

LeGeyt started working with Day One in spring 2017, when the agency chose him to list one of its residential facilities in Hollis.

"They wanted to sell it," said LeGeyt. "It was much bigger than what they needed and the upkeep was getting to be too much." In fall 2017, the agency asked LeGeyt to start looking for another site for a residential facility. "So I went out the market to see what was available."

The process of finding the right kind of property for specialized services like Day One's, said LeGeyt, included determining the agency's geographic requirements, how properties would fit the needs of clients and employees, and considering future staffing needs and access to workforce.

"We looked at five or six properties across multiple municipalities," LeGeyt said. The pool of properties that would work well for Day One, he said, was found among larger homes or homes with in-law apartments. That was a tight market. "They were all pretty good options. But five or six options is not a whole lot and ultimately the quality of this building and the location made the decision an easy one."

New location offers lots of advantages

Day One, headquartered in South Portland, works exclusively with adolescents on substance use issues, and provides residential programs for adolescents. With three total locations, it has 27 beds for Maine youth ages 14 to 20. Clients receive substance use and mental health treatment, in addition to participation in an accredited educational program, life skills training and various activities.

A grant of $338,000 from the Next Generation Foundation made it possible for Day One to fulfill its plans to replace its aging facility in Hollis.

"It was a marginal facility," Day One CEO Greg Bowers said of the Hollis facility. "The building was a challenge to keep maintained, heated and in good repair."

In addition to being completely renovated and energy-efficient, the New Gloucester property has other advantages. It is six acres, compared with the Hollis building's one acre.

It's also near Pineland Farms, a 5,000-acre working farm, business campus and educational and recreational venue.

"It will offer numerous educational and recreational opportunities for our clients, " said Bowers.

It's centrally located, with easy access to the interstate, and it has an open concept layout, deemed best for supervision and safety.

"The building had to have enough rooms for bedrooms and living spaces," said Bowers. "We needed staff offices, common areas and a large kitchen. It's important to have an environment that is supportive of the therapeutic work that we do."

There are some life safety renovations to be done, like putting in a sprinkler system. Day One plans to transition to the new location this spring. The Hollis property is under contract for sale.

The property marks a turning point for Day One, Bowers said.

"If you look at the setting, the opportunities with Pineland Farms close by, the building itself, it's really fitting for the programming that we're doing, and the kids deserve a setting like this," he said. "It can serve as a centerpiece for Day One's mission and the important work we do with Maine youth every day. The grant represents a significant contribution to Day One and in my mind, signifies the importance of the mission. Addressing adolescent substance use at the earliest possible time is important in the overall battle against the opioid epidemic. So Day One's mission is critical."

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