A Brief History of the Nasson Community Center
by Pete Smith ‘72
Nasson College, established in 1912, once proudly educated thousands of young people in the heart of Springvale. In the 1930’s the school acquired an 1800’s vintage barn on Main Street and converted it to a recreation hall. In 1959, Nasson built a remarkable building called the Memorial Student Activity Center. It was connected to the former Recreation Hall which, by then, had become a lecture hall. In 1971, the “Rec Hall” was refurbished and became the Little Theatre at Nasson. The Student Activity Center was the home of the Nasson Lions sports teams, the Little Theatre was the home of the Nasson Footlighters Drama Club, and the Nasson family was proud of this remarkable complex. In this building there were commencements, performances by Dizzie Gillespie; Maynard Ferguson; Odetta; Dick Gregory; Pierre Salinger; Sam and Dave; Blood, Sweat & Tears; and many, many more. On the lower level was a rifle range. On the street level, besides the 9,000 square foot gym, was the Huse Memorial Chapel. In 1983, with enrollment declining, Nasson College closed its doors. And the Theatre, the Gym, the Chapel, the whole campus went dark. It was a sad time for the Town and for Nasson Alumni.
For nearly 20 years, the once-proud Activity Center sat vacant and deteriorating. The power lines were cut. The water lines were cut. The roof leaked. Vandals broke windows and invaded the inside of the building, leaving behind graffiti and worse. Dozens of local people organized to protect the building. Plans were made to resurrect it as a Community Center. People seemed to love the idea. But in the winter of 2001-2002, after due consideration, the Town Board of Selectmen decided taking on a million dollar renovation project was not in the taxpayers’ best interest.
President, Garnsey Bros Insurance
Vice President, Superintendent of the Sanford Water District
J. Edward Titcomb
Treasurer, Retired Financial Professional
"We dare to dream...you can too!"
Nasson Community Center and Little Theatre is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the people of central York County through diverse recreational, cultural and civic programs that promote community and individual growth.