Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and the Nathan Mayhew Seminars will merge, the two nonprofit organizations have announced.

The Seminars, formed in 1976 to provide lectures and college-level courses on the Vineyard in collaboration with mainland universities, has been dormant for a number of years but still has a small campus on North William street in Vineyard Haven. A year ago this spring Community Services began renting space at the Seminars to house the Family Center, which offers free classes, play groups, and educational support to Island families.

Nathan Mayhew Seminars no longer offers courses and had recently focused on renovation of its building, known as the former Stephen Carey Luce house.
“Their interest is in saving the building and taking care of it,” said Juliette Fay, Community Services executive director, when the merger was announced late last week. “When the project was complete, they said there is no point in having this [Nathan Mayhew Seminar] hanging out there with no active programs, so we merged, with Community Services the surviving entity.”

Community Services now owns the building and will continue to operate Family Services programs from the site. Island Grown Schools and Adult Community Education of Martha’s Vineyard will continue as tenants in the building.

“Both of those are all about education,” Ms. Fay said. “It’s a very nice combination of organizations.”

Chuck Hughes, who oversaw the renovation as president of the Nathan Mayhew Seminars board of directors, said the board agreed unanimously to give the building to Community Services as part of the merger.

“We really don’t want to be in the business of managing a building,” Mr. Hughes said. “In the end, we’re thrilled, and I think they’re thrilled.”

The two organizations have agreed to set up an advisory committee to monitor and make suggestions about the building, which will include former Seminars board members.

“It’s basically just to make sure the building is being well used,” Mr. Hughes said. “We asked that we find some way of being able to have some involvement with that facility.”

The merger took effect on May 6.