CASTINE — William J. Brennan, President of Maine Maritime Academy announced June 26 that the college completed the purchase of a four-acre parcel of land at the former Verso paper mill in Bucksport from owners American Iron and Metal (AIM). The site will be the new Maine Maritime Academy Center for Professional Mariner Development, an annex facility that will provide specialized courses for professional mariners, academy-enrolled students, and workforce development.
For professional mariners, the Center will meet the demand for courses that enable mariners to receive certification and credentialing to meet maritime regulatory and industry-sector demands.
“The Center for Professional Mariner Development will both support MMA’s mission and programs and generate revenue to help support the academy’s financial future,” said President Brennan. “This is a public-private venture, which we are building in a phased approach to ensure that we can steward the finite resources MMA has to devote to the enterprise while simultaneously cultivating private and other funding sources.”
The new training center includes an existing 20,000-square-foot administration and instruction building, which will house classrooms, offices, training labs, simulator spaces, and conference rooms equipped with A/V technology and videoconferencing. Maine Maritime Academy will take occupancy of the property in the fall, following renovation work that is planned for the building.
A state-of-the-art, multi-purpose firefighting training facility will be built on the property and is expected to be operational in the spring of 2020.
“We are so pleased and honored that Maine Maritime Academy has chosen Bucksport as the site for its mariner training center,” said Susan Lessard, Bucksport Town Manager, in a news release. “The presence of a nationally recognized institution of higher education in Bucksport opens up opportunities for other entrepreneurs to start businesses here and sets a positive tone for the future for our community. We look forward to being a good partner for their growth and development."
The multi-purpose fire training facility will also meet the professional development needs of municipalities, counties, and the state in the training of police, wardens, National Guard, and hazardous waste and chemical first-responders. Additionally, the CPMD will provide workforce development training for cargo/dock personnel, shipyard skills such as welding, and electrical safety training.
Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 22 programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs. The job placement rate for MMA graduates regularly exceeds 90 percent within 90 days of graduation and the college is consistently recognized for providing a high-value education by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, Washington Monthly, and U.S. News and World Report. For more information, visit mainemaritime.edu.