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Old 09-16-2009, 09:21 AM
 
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Can anyone tell me about Waterville and the surrounding towns? Which are the best to live? How are the schools? Etc.

Thanks everyone! Just trying to gater some info as I am getting ready to relocate the family there!
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:42 AM
 
Location: 40 miles north of Bangor, Maine
264 posts, read 665,073 times
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I can't give you much info however I know waterville area has been discussed many times on this forum. Go to the search button in the upper right corner and put in waterville. You'll probably get a ton of links to old threads to read.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
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Waterville is just above Augusta and near Winslow. It's a nice old mill town that is becoming a bedroom town for Augusta. If you click on this at the top left City-Data Forum you will find the opportunity to search for anything you want about any town.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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I grew up in the Waterville/Oakland area and it is a peaceful place to live. You will find that some people avoid Waterville because the demographics have changed in the last two decades. There are still quite a few middle class neighborhoods (I live in one), but there is more crime and drugs than there used to be and part of the downtown area (the concourse) has some empty/abandoned buildings. Many professional families seem to prefer the lakes area (Belgrade Lakes in Oakland, Belgrade) and China Lake (near Winslow) but lakefront property is at least 3-4X more expensive to buy, so it depends on your budget. In terms of schools, Oakland has had an excellent school system for the area and Winslow is pretty good as well. Waterville used to be at the top but changing demographics and budget problems have knocked it down a peg or two (personally, I still think it is pretty good). Waterville does have some good amenities for kids such as the Alfond Center (huge YMCA with 2 pools), a great park and soccer field and some indoor soccer fields (AllPro) as well as the usual chain restaurants and movie theaters. Colby College is a beautiful campus but there isn't much integration between Waterville locals and the college community, save a few local pubs. If you are considering Waterville, the best neighborhoods are surrounding Colby (near Mayflower Hill Drive and near North Street Park).

Last edited by 7th generation; 09-22-2009 at 04:41 PM.. Reason: do not advertise here
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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Default Lived in Waterville 4 years now

Waterville has a lot going for it, and a lot of cultural opportunities, and a lot of organizations and groups working hard to revitalize the downtown against the onslaught of Box Marts on the sprawl mall. It really is a charming community with a lot more choice in activities and restaurants than just about any other Maine town of a similar small size.
But the school have gone down hill a bit, and compare poorly to Augusta, lewiston/auburn, and many other communties for test results.

Winslow is really nice, pretty houses, manicured lawns, and quiet neighborhoods, affordable, lower taxes, etc. Good schools so I hear and a quick drive or short walk across the bridge to Waterville.

Augusta used to have a bad reputation but has come up in the world in the last 10 years. It's the only place between Portland and Bangor with actual chain stores and Panera Bread, Barnes and Nobles/Starbucks, Michael's, Petsmart, Target, and so on.

Around Waterville... I have heard good things about Oakland schools. But again, I am planning on homeschooling so can't give firsthand experience, except to echo that the kids I have had contact with don't give me any confidence in Waterville's public school system. Mount Merici Academy gets high praise, but is highly pricey to go with it.

If you choose and can afford to live the rural life (with high real estate values and fantastic boating, etc on beautiful China Lake, but not much city life) you can check out Vassalboro and China. Kids who live there can attend the famed top-notch private school Erskine Academy for free! That's a huge draw for families who can, to settle there, and public schools below the high school level are supposed to be really good there also (being well funded does that!) China is close to major shopping in Augusta, but you can see stars at night in your back yard, and the boating and sailing is lovely.

Bangor is good too, but if you live there, it has to be your everything, because it's a looooooong drive to get to anywhere else. In Bangor, unless you take planes regularly, you are really committed to being in Bangor. But in Bangor, you may not care a fig about access to other parts of Maine, because there's so much to offer there.
It has truly excellent schools due in large part to Stephen King's philanthropy there.

Anyway, you wanted to know Waterville. Better choice and quality of restaurants than any other comparably-sized town in Maine, I think. You can get Thai, Vietnamese, Lebanese, two different good "real" Mexican restaurants (unless you want tamales, which you'll have to make yourself if you want authentic or good) the best Soul Food / Barbecue I ever tried in my whole mostly Southern life at the Freedom Cafe, and some lively night spots and outdoor sidewalk cafes at the Midnight Blues Club and Cancun Mexican restaurant.

It's a great oasis in central Maine, and you can go to Augusta for the rest. Realtor.com is a great way to check out what's available.

Colby College has world-class art museums and talks, activities and so on, community gardens and trails. The North Street Park next to the really great Alfond Recreation Center/YMCA complex offers summer swimming at a great municipal pool with Water-Park-like features, and indoor swimming in winter at a lap pool and heated pool, and has a great playground and nice bike/hike trails along the river, and on the north end past the soccer field, the Waterville Community Garden pilot project offers 12 large raised bed gardens on a first-come basis for residents to plant flowers, veggies, herbs, or whatnot, and we are hoping to see similar community garden raised beds go up in neighborhoods.

Christmas in Waterville is becoming an event to see thanks in large part to REM and the Waterville Main Street organizations. Kringleville, Dickensian evenings on the town, the Bossov Ballet Nutcracker at the Opera House, and many other events make it something to see. Castonguay Square in the heart of downtown is home to pretty flowers, benches, and seasonal family activities like Harvest Fest, Arts in the Park, and the whole downtown from the Head of Falls near Winslow has something going on most of the year, whether it's Taste of Greater Waterville, or the Franco-American Heritage Festival, Museum in the Streets, and so on.

The Hathaway Project is worth its own chapter and probably will write one in Waterville very soon. Google "Happening at Hathaway" to find out the current events at this residential/shopping/business complex being created in the restored old mill on the waterfront.

Waterville is also home to the Beth Israel Synagogue and a small Lebanese community, the Let's Talk Language School, and a fair sprinkling of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian families and a very nice Senior Spectrum activity center.

Geez, I am talking myself out of wanting to get closer to Gardiner now!

In towns, generally the closer you are to downtown, the worse the neighborhood, but not always, and it can be nice to be able to walk to amenities. Waterville in particular is taking pains to make the city more walkable for a sustainable and more enjoyable future, and there is even a city bus, albeit a small one. Having to pile kids in a car and drive 45 minutes just to shop or play with other kids is a common complaint I hear from parents in rural situations, and in winter it's far harder. Seems crazy, but some places that are only 28 miles from the coast take nearly an hour to drive there because there is no highway, just rambly little country roads. And some towns have so little to offer, that living in town means little, because you still have to drive to another town to do anything worth doing.

So there you go, a detailed picture from an Austin transplant who has been here 11 years, had two children here, and doesn't plan on leaving (Maine that is). Hope it helps. I hope I haven't offended anyone; I know I will never be considered a Mainer even if I die here, and I have some affection for much of what Maine offers, but there are plusses and minuses just as there are elsewhere. But I care about the fact that Maine still has some nice traditions, and natural beauty, and best of all, unlike where I came from, the towns and cities mostly boast mixed residential and business, that keeps the character of neighborhoods friendly, vital, diverse, and walkable, and that is indeed a rare treasure.

People here are stand-offish, and friendly, and cold and exclusionist, and warm and welcoming, depending on who you are, who they are, and where you find each other. There's a lot of different attitudes in different regions, but you can bring out the best in others by appreciating rather than denigrating Maine to them. But my sister said that compared to Minnesota, Mainers are like a big warm bear-hug to strangers.


[quote=cjc14;10781479]Can anyone tell me about Waterville and the surrounding towns? Which are the best to live? How are the schools? Etc.
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:37 AM
 
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My son lives (renting) in falmouth and accepted a job with his company in waterville. Are there any nice inexpensive places (rooms, etc) to rent ? Does not really want to commute - tyring to figure out something for the week as he would, for the time being, go back to Falmouth on weekends. Even some place on the out skirts. Don't really know much about the area.. Thanks in advance for any advice - suggestions..
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:33 PM
 
124 posts, read 109,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylctln View Post
My son lives (renting) in falmouth and accepted a job with his company in waterville. Are there any nice inexpensive places (rooms, etc) to rent ? Does not really want to commute - tyring to figure out something for the week as he would, for the time being, go back to Falmouth on weekends. Even some place on the out skirts. Don't really know much about the area.. Thanks in advance for any advice - suggestions..
Hathaway Loft Apartments in Waterville are about it if you want something nice. Everything else we found left a lot to be desired.
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:43 PM
 
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Default Great places

Waterville is a world of its own.
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Waterville
332 posts, read 427,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laceyp202 View Post
Waterville is a world of its own.
Meaning...?
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