LEWISTON — The Franco Center soon will begin looking for a new executive director to replace Louis Morin, who last month suffered a catastrophic stroke.

The center’s board of directors has voted to begin placing ads and notices for the job as early as this week, board President Ray Lagueux said Tuesday.

The decision was made with extraordinary regret, he said.

“It’s a business decision,” he said. “We do that in our hearts knowing that the prognosis is a long rehabilitation process. Because the prognosis is for an extended rehabilitation, more than a year, we’re looking for someone to assume that post.”

Morin, 48, was stricken March 13 at his home in Freeport and was rushed to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

At first, he was unable to speak and barely able to move. He breathed through a tube in his throat and lost all feeling on one side.

Since then, the breathing tube is gone, and he has made other steps forward, said Lagueux, who has been corresponding with Morin’s brother, Dan.

“He is now able to drink water and juice,” Lagueux said.

Morin had a setback with gallbladder surgery, preventing him from being moved to a rehabilitation center for long-term care, Lagueux said. For now, Morin remains at the Portland hospital.

“His physical therapy regimen should pick up again as he heals from surgery,” Lagueux said.

Meanwhile, he and the board of directors are moving forward with plans for the Franco Center.

“It needs a director,” he said. “We’re trying to move this along as quickly as possible.”

Information about the job posting will appear on the center’s website and Facebook page within a few days, he said.

The search will be quicker than the one that found Morin, Lagueux said.

In that case, a search committee spent months examining resumes and interviewing applicants. Morin was hired in September 2012 and spent months working alongside the center’s first director, Rita Dube, until her retirement that December.

Morin had been working to broaden the kinds of concerts and gatherings held at the center while still offering popular Franco music and French-language events such as the monthly luncheon, La Rencontre.

Lagueux promised that scheduled events will be held without interruption. Staff and volunteers are working to make sure nothing is left out, despite losing the executive director, he said.

It applies to long-term plans, such as hosting screenings and receptions for the new Emerge Film Festival on June 13-14. It also will apply to this week, he said.

“We’re all willing to do what we need,” he said.

On Thursday, a luncheon is expected to draw hundreds to the center. On Friday, the center is hosting French-Canadian singer Michele Choiniere. And on Saturday, comedian Bob Marley is scheduled to perform a pair of shows.

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