Maine Maritime to break ground on research center

The following is the text of a news release from Maine Maritime Academy:

(CASTINE, Maine) — On Saturday, September 21st, Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) will officially move forward and break ground for the first classroom facility to be built on the college campus in 30 years: the ABS Center for Engineering, Science and Research. The ceremonial shovel turning will be held as part of the MMA Homecoming festivities on September 21, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. on the lawn below the Alfond Student Center.

“Enrollment at MMA has expanded from 650 to 950 full-time students over the last 15 years. During that time, there has been little expansion of educational facilities on our campus,” said Dr. William J. Brennan, President of Maine Maritime Academy. “The new facility is an investment in our students, in the technology necessary for the specialized education we provide, and in the industry-relevant research our faculty and students are immersed in here on campus.”

The new building will be a hub for joint student/faculty research projects, including low-emissions biofuels development and testing, wind turbine design, tidal and wave hydrokinetic devices, ocean studies research, and many other topics.

The ceremony will recognize significant philanthropic contributions toward the project totaling $6.1 million in philanthropic gifts and pledges in hand, as well as a $3.4 million matching grant from a donor wishing to remain anonymous. “Gifts, pledges and challenge grants from private sources represent about 65% of the cost of the new building,” said Vice President for Advancement Ellie Willmann. “Contributions have come from industries employing our graduates, from our alumni, and from foundations who know the value of the investment to our state.” The estimated total project cost for the new building is $14 million.

"The Board of Trustees is committed to completing the fundraising campaign for this building in the coming months so that construction can begin in the spring, and classes can commence in the new labs and classrooms in 2015," said Robert J. Peacock II, Chair of the MMA Board of Trustees.

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science and transportation. The college’s persistence, retention and graduation rates are well above national averages. The job-placement rate for MMA graduates is in excess of 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. For more information, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff