New Construction

University of Maine Opens New Engineering, Design Center

The University of Maine in Orono, Maine, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new E. James and Eileen P. Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center (Ferland EEDC) on Wednesday, Aug. 24. The new facility will play home to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Biomedical Engineering Program and teaching labs for the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program. A university press release reports that the new building will let the university expand its engineering enrollment by 600 additional students per year.

The facility measures in at 115,000 square feet, and construction began in May 2020. A virtual groundbreaking ceremony took place in April 2020 and a virtual topping-off ceremony in February 2021. The university partnered with WBRC Architects Engineers and Ellenzweig for the project’s architecture and design and with Consigli Construction for construction.

It features amenities like the Student Project Design Suite, which includes 44 workbenches to be assigned to students, as well as areas for electronics, vehicles, biomedical engineering, 3D printing, wood, metals and composites, according to the press release. It also houses the Campus Welcome and STEM Outreach Center.

“This state-of-the-art center at our R1 university will allow us to produce more engineering and computing and information science professionals that Maine needs to grow its economy and be competitive in the world,” said UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy. “This facility is a tribute to the forward thinking and leadership of three Legislatures and two Governors on behalf of the people of Maine and stakeholders who know the value of a UMaine education and hands-on research learning and the difference it makes in the success of its students, alumni and the state.”

The total cost of the project was about $78 million, $50 million of which came from an investment by the state of Maine.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].