The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced construction work will begin Oct. 23 on a multipurpose center in Kennebunk Maine that will serve as a focal point for connecting people to nature in southern Coastal Maine and celebrating the life and work of Rachel Carson.
When remodeling of the existing building and construction of a new visitor services wing is complete, the 11,666-square-foot facility will house the offices and visitor center for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program.
The building, located at 188 Brown St in Kennebunk, ME, will provide office space for approximately 15 full-time permanent employees who manage the Refuge and engage in conservation projects with partners throughout southern Maine. An exhibit hall and trails will be accessible, and a multipurpose room will be equipped to welcome groups of up to 45 persons for environmental education programs and other events.
"I'm looking forward to working more closely with the team at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, and being co-located at the multipurpose center will provide our respective programs a great opportunity to advance our shared conservation goals," said Chris Meaney, Project Leader for the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program.
Karl Stromayer, Refuge Manager for Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, added that Refuge staff “are really excited to be moving forward with construction. This facility is going to be a wonderful resource to better support both refuge and coastal program staff and to connect people to the natural beauty and wildlife habitats here in southern Coastal Maine.”
The facility was designed according to the Council on Environmental Quality’s Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings. The environmentally friendly and energy efficient building will also be bird-friendly as part of the Service’s efforts to prevent bird-window collisions at its facilities.
The visitor center will feature exhibits showcasing the conservation efforts conducted by the Refuge and the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program and the life and contributions of Rachel Carson. The facility was designed by Oak Point Associates of Biddeford, Maine and construction will be implemented by Benchmark Construction of Westbrook, Maine. The new facility is expected to open to the public in spring or summer 2026.