“ACOG” Still Negotiating Lease – Second Extension Expires on Thanksgiving Day

By Carol McCracken

A Company of Girls,”ACOG”, continues to search for a permanent home in which to house its after-school program for at risk girls in the area. Earlier this month, MHN reported that ACOG was negotiating terms of a 2 year lease with a landlord in the Bayside area of Portland. It was expected that the nonprofit would be relocating to its new facility on Preble Street by Thanksgiving Day. However, despite intense negotiations between the two parties, no agreement has been reached. 

There are rumors the non-profit may be looking elsewhere for a facility from which to run the popular program, although Jane Makela, president of the board would not confirm this.  In a fund raiser letter this month, the potential property was described as small enough so that office space and performance space would have to be rented separately from the program facility.  Makela had expressed disappoinment that the prospective site was not directly on the Hill where the need is the most for the program.

The award winning non-profit has been functioning out of the former Adams School on the Hill for about the last year. This arrangement has always been viewed as a temporary situation by both parties. The building is slated for demolition possibly next year to make way for new condominiums and a park expected to be built by Avesta Housing over the site.

In 2006, ACOG was evicted from its 11 year home at 10 Mayo Street when People’s Regional Opportunity Program, “PROP” sold the historic former church to businesswoman Roxanne Quimby. Through a spokesperson she told MHN she planned to restore the building, but so far little progress in that regard appears to have been made. Workman have indicated to MHN that they were waterproofing the outside of the historic building earlier in the fall.  ACOG has already received two extensions of time from the city to remain at Adams School – the latest extension was to have expired on Thanksgiving Day.

However, as of yesterday no lease had been signed and the negotiations were on-going said Makela.  “We are collecting moving boxes but we don’t know where or when we’ll be moving,” she added, clearly wearied by the entire process.  “We have one staff member and I’m a volunteer.  It’s a lot of work.”