About Us

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.

Discouraged and disheartened, the group accepted what appeared to be the inevitable. The once-proud Nasson Memorial Student Activity Center would become a parking lot. But a team of four Nasson College Alumni, Anna Ashley ’60, Rick Schneider ’71, Connie Witherby ’73, and myself, H. Pete Smith ’72, decided to try to save the complex. We formed Nasson Center Redevelopment, Inc., a non-profit organization. And we went to the movers and shakers of the community asking this question: If a Community Center is wanted and needed, then why can’t a private group make it happen? Just about everyone agreed Sanford/Springvale needed more gym space. And just about everyone agreed it could use a place for the performing arts, too. So, we went forward saying, “WE DARE TO DREAM…YOU CAN, TOO!” People dared. What we call ‘The Wall of Fame’ in our lobby tells the story. Please read it. It lists those without whom the Nasson Community Center would not exist. One by one people, organizations, corporations, foundations, and the movers and shakers stepped-up and helped make it happen. With over $500,000 in donations and thousands of hours of volunteer time, the NCC lives!

Board Officers

Kevin Langlais

President, Garnsey Bros Insurance

David Parent

Vice President, Superintendent of the Sanford Water District

J. Edward Titcomb


Roger Durant

Treasurer, Retired Financial Professional

Jack McAdam

Constance Witherby


​Emily Sheffield

All Friends Children’s Learning Center

Carolyn J. Lajeunesse

Child Care Director | [email protected]

Justice Grondin

Assistant Child Care Director

Elaine Sawyer, Nathaniel Lajeunesse, Amanda Morin, Caylin Marcotte

"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.


* indicates required