PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — During the past two years, Northern Maine Community College has transformed its campus and classrooms, thanks to significant private donations.
A plan announced earlier this year to continue those upgrades by building a new wellness and student center got a very public boost last week thanks to Katahdin Trust Company.
The financial institution donated $20,000 to support the effort, which was announced in February.
The first $10,000 was given to the NMCC Foundation, with the commitment for an additional $10,000 next year.
Tim Crowley, president of the college, said that Katahdin Trust Company has a “strong history” of supporting the college. He noted that the bank’s most recent gift “demonstrates both their continued confidence in this institution as well as their recognition of the need for a healthier, more competitive workforce.”
In February, Mary Barton Akeley Smith donated $5 million toward the $6 million renovation of two NMCC facilities.
Smith is a California resident who last year bestowed a $1.2 million gift on NMCC that greatly advanced its alternative energy program offerings. She also contributed $1 million to help expand the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library in Presque Isle.
Her $5 million gift will provide the bulk of the money needed to renovate and repurpose the 9,000-square-foot building that now houses the college dining commons on the north end of campus. It will be transformed into the Rodney Smith Center for Fitness and Occupational Wellness in honor of the donor’s late husband. The 14,000-square-foot facility that is now the college gymnasium and sits in the center of the campus will become the Akeley Student Center in honor of Mary Smith’s parents and family.
The college and NMCC Foundation are continuing efforts to raise through private donations and grants the remainder of the $1 million needed to complete the project. The college plans to break ground and begin renovations in spring 2013.
Jon Prescott, president and CEO of Katahdin Trust Company, said that the bank, like NMCC, is focused on service to the community and its well-being.
He felt that the donation was a good way for the bank and NMCC to collaborate on similar missions.
Katahdin Trust Company provides banking services to individuals and businesses from 17 offices in northern and central Maine.