published in the Quoddy Tides, September 26, 2014
Cobscook Community Learning Center’s (CCLC) Heartwood Lodge is now open for business. The 50- bed overnight facility began hosting guests in mid-August and has since served as a venue for multi-day conferences by Leadership Maine and the New England Chapter of the Guild of Bookmakers.
The CCLC will hold a formal grand opening of Hearwood Lodge on Saturday, October 11, at 10:30 a.m. “We’ve been working toward this day for many years,” says CCLC Executive Director Alan Furth. “ A lodge where people could spend multiple days and really immerse in educational opportunities has always been part of the CCLC vision. It’s a glorious thing to be cutting the ribbon on this beautiful building.”
Construction of Heartwood Lodge began in 2013. It was constructed by Washington County contractors and subcontractors, led by Pembroke-based Goodwin Carpentry. Whenever possible, the project purchased locally-made or sold materials. The building has a high level of energy efficiency. The project included the installation of a wood-fired heating system large enough to provide heat and hot water to the entire CCLC campus. These boilers will be fed with cordwood from Washington County woodlots. “It’s another way we’re able to keep these dollars at work here in our region,” says Furth. “ This is an important aspect of our work.”
The lodge is receiving rave review from guests so far. “We immediately felt welcomed and at home, like we were part of the place. There’s a great warmth and vision here for building community. Staying here really brought out the best in me,” says Mary Bogan of Andover, Mass; who was part of the Guild of Bookmakers conference.
The grand opening will include remarks from Bruce Stahnke, the building’s architect, and Vera Francis, the newly elected vice chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik and a member of the CCLC’s founding circle. The ceremony will take place from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and will be followed by a guided tour of the building, with another tour offered at 2:30 p.m. This event is part of the center’s annual RiceFest celebration.