PORTLAND, Maine — Friends School of Portland, which plans to open a new building next fall near the Falmouth town line, is striving to raise $52,000 toward the project by the end of the year.

“That will bring us to the $2.47 million that we set out to raise,” Head of School Jenny Rowe said Monday morning at the construction site at 11 U.S. Route 1.

She expressed confidence that the school can meet its goal.

“We’re hopeful. This is the time of year people would like to spend charitably,” Rowe said.

A foundation has been laid for the 15,000-square-foot building, on a 21-acre parcel. Walls are scheduled to be erected later this month.

“We’re kind of amazed ourselves that this has happened so quickly,” Rowe said. “It’s been … a lot of work, but the process has included so many people with such diversity of skills and generosity, that it just feels like very much a community project.”

The Quaker school will be Maine’s first school certified as a “passive house,” and only the third in the U.S., according to the school. The building, designed by Kaplan Thompson Architects and being built by Warren Construction Group, will not use fossil fuel for energy.

The passive house concept, according to the school, is “a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, thereby reducing its ecological footprint. Passive house design uses solar gain and carefully engineered air ventilation to warm and cool the building.”

Friends School of Portland started its ninth year this fall with 90 students. It has leased space from the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing on Mackworth Island in Falmouth since 2006. That lease expires next July.

For more information about the fundraising campaign, visit friendsschoolofportland.org, call 781-6321 or email information@friendschoolofportland.org.