Helping to expand an organization that encourages inclusivity and equal opportunity.

Ouellet Construction is excited to announce its work with Independence Association, an organization that assists adults and children with disabilities in obtaining full and inclusive lives in their chosen communities. The renovations involve two projects that aim to enhance the lives of those who depend on the support of the organization.

About Independence Association

Founded by area families in 1966, the Independence Association began as just a small educational center. Just five families came together in their mission to help give their children more than the existing systems could provide at the time. Today, the association now employs almost 250 people who serve more than 400 individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities throughout the state.

Facilities & Services

Independence Association provides a variety of services to disabled adults and children of all ages. Some of these services include adult in-home support, community day support programs, adult case management, children’s case management, and transitional support, along with art-based day programs. These support programs consist of various activities which may take place in the organization’s centers or throughout the community.

Independence Association client making cookies.

The association also provides various housing options based on an individual’s needs, including Residential Group Homes; Community (Independent) Living; and Shared Living. Residential group homes are located throughout Mid-Coast Maine, providing clients with daily (24/7) home support in a safe environment.

Passionate and Caring Staff Members

Ray Nagel, Executive Director

The Executive Director is Ray Nagel, a Veteran with extensive experience in both the healthcare and non-profit sectors. He has been with the organization for about three years and has done an exceptional job of growing the association. Ray works with a talented and passionate executive staff with an unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life of their clients.

“Independence Association is an extremely passionate client. We’ve had multiple client meetings to discuss the project and, each time they bring a small army. It’s clear to see how passionate they are about what they do and the people they’re responsible for,”

said Luke Ouellet. “It takes a particular individual to work with the clients they serve. From the moment you meet their staff, it is clear that they have an exceptional level of patience and care.” He added, “Their passion is no less than ours for what they do. They are genuinely trying to provide solutions that are best for their clients.”

Independence Association client and staff

Statewide Renovations and Expansions

There are two phases to the work we are providing. The first phase is a smaller project, but one that will benefit the association’s clients immensely.

Phase 1: Residential Group Home Renovations

We are wrapping up the first phase of the project, which involves the expansion of one of the group homes to a four-bedroom, three-bath certified commercial group home. Currently, the Brunswick group home houses two residents who use wheelchairs.

By expanding the group home, it will increase its capacity to a 4-person residence, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. An existing garage and office area will be renovated to allow for the new space. The renovations will also allow the home to become a licensed commercial group home.

It is a 1,000 sqft renovation, which began in January and will be complete in March. Residents will move into the new space in April.

Independence Association client enjoying the outdoors.

Phase 2: Adult Daycare Center Renovations

Phase 2 includes a 20,000 sqft, 2-floor renovation in the Brunswick Industrial Park. The goal of this renovation is to provide a larger adult daycare center, enabling them to offer all of their services under one roof. The first floor will serve as the adult daycare facility; the 2nd floor will be a dedicated office area for their staff.

Independence Association currently has several staff office locations scattered throughout the state. They are looking forward to bringing everyone together in one central location.  The hope is that the newly renovated, consolidated facility will allow them to provide faster, better service to their clients.

Phase two renovations include building common spaces for crafts, gaming, activities, and a large kitchen. Additional work includes developing an outside area for clients to enjoy sports and other activities.

Independence Association staff and client playing cards in the day support center

Choosing The Right Materials

For phase two of the project, we are working in partnership with CWS Architects, a firm we have worked with on several healthcare facility projects. As part of the architectural design process, they are working hard to choose durable and aesthetically pleasing materials for the center, where many of the community day support activities occur.

It is crucial that they choose the right materials to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for clients. Therefore, Ouellet Construction and CWS Architects are working together to use the most durable materials, cheerful colors and best lighting throughout.

Proper Ventilation & Protection

Independence Association stressed the importance of good lighting and proper ventilation to optimize the well-being of the office staff and clients. As a result, the building was reconstructed to allow for a new mechanical HVAC system installation.

Ouellet is also providing a full-scale fire alarm and protection system for the facility, including sprinkler systems in the rooms. These updates are being performed primarily for the benefit of the clients but are also requirements for this type of facility.

Helping Independence Association Celebrate Ability

The Independence Association renovation project holds a special place in our hearts, as it is clear to see the good they are doing for communities throughout Maine. Because we believe strongly in their mission, Ouellet is also sponsoring the 6th Annual Run for Independence on Saturday, May 18th, 2019.

The Run for Independence benefits health and fitness at Independence Association and coordinated by Androscoggin Bank. It is sure to be a great event, and we encourage you to attend. You may also donate to the association, here.

Ouellet Construction is passionate about our work, and our clients. We want your project to be everything you expect, and more. Contact us today to get started.