Portland, ME – Grants to Green has awarded St. Elizabeth’s Child Development Center, a program of Catholic Charities Maine, a $54,103 grant toward energy efficiency upgrades at the 200 year-old building on High Street in Portland.
The $54,103 grant will be matched by equal funds from the St. Elizabeth Asylum, an endowment fund established by the building’s owners for a total funding of $108,206.
More than 65 children are currently enrolled at the Center which has provided quality early care and education services to low-income and working families for more than 40 years. “Parents and children love our unique space and the convenience of our downtown location,” says Center Director Leslee Pierce, “But the expenses associated with heating and maintaining an older building were really straining our budget as a non-profit. This grant is truly a gift to all of our children and their families as it will enable us to reinvest in other areas of the Center that directly impact the children thanks to the savings we’ll see on our electricity and heating bills.”
After completing an initial energy audit with Grants to Green funds in early 2015, the Center identified major areas for improvement and applied for additional funds this past summer. The center being located in a city designated historic neighborhood, will use the current funding to bring the heating and lighting systems up to the 21st century, while preserving the structural character of the building.
Scheduled upgrades include heat pump installation, new insulation, window seals and inserts, thermostats and LED lighting. Once all upgrades have been made, which is expected to be completed within a year, the Center can expect to see a savings of more than $12,000 annually.
“We are truly appreciative of the investment Grants to Green is making in St. Elizabeth’s as it will allow us to continue our mission of providing quality early care and education to all families, regardless of income, for many years to come,” notes Catholic Charities Maine CEO Stephen Letourneau.
For more than 40 years, St. Elizabeth’s has provided educationally-enriching early care to children of all faiths in a nurturing environment that fosters creativity, curiosity, collaboration, and compassion. The Center is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.
Grants to Green Maine provides environmentally focused knowledge and funding to strengthen nonprofits located in historic buildings in downtowns in Maine. Grants to Green Maine is a partnership between the Maine Development Foundation’s Maine Downtown Center, Efficiency Maine and the Maine Community Foundation and is funded by Kendeda Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
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