PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A classroom that will give students a leg up in the work force opened at Northern Maine Community College on Friday afternoon.

College and NMCC Foundation officials joined with representatives from MMG Insurance for a brief ceremony and reception at the opening of the newly designed Business Technology Center on campus.

The center, which is located on the second floor of the A.K. Christie Building, was made possible through a $50,000 gift made last year by MMG Insurance, which has headquarters in Presque Isle, to NMCC’s Campaign for the County’s College.

The classroom design is based on that of a business training facility at MMG Insurance.

“This is a tremendous asset for the college,” Brian Hamel, chairman of the major gifts campaign leadership team, said Friday afternoon.

He said the center was designed to provide students, particularly those enrolled in business technology programs, with a work environment that models the one at MMG.

The project, enveloping 1,300 square feet of classroom space, also included the renovation of an adjacent storage room to simulate a business conference room. That space is used for instruction of smaller classes and for student work teams to simulate conference meetings.

Work to renovate the space began in late March, and construction was completed in early August. Most of the demolition and renovation work was completed in-house by NMCC facilities and information technology staff.

Business technology department students have been using the space since the start of the academic year.

Larry Shaw, president and chief executive officer of MMG Insurance, said officials at the company were happy to see the project come to fruition.

“This space will help students get better prepared for the work force,” he said.

Misty Robinson of Masardis, a senior in the business administration program, agreed.

“This means a lot to the students,” she said Friday. “The atmosphere in the center is great — it doesn’t have that classroom feel, and I believe teaching is enhanced for instructors in the room.”

Another senior, accounting information systems student Kay O’Clair of Ashland, added that the “quiet, professional” setting helped students become familiar with the working environment at MMG and other companies.

John Richardson, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, also was on hand for the ceremony. He congratulated the college and MMG for their collaboration and noted that such public-private partnerships were “the way to go” in a time when it is difficult to make ends meet.

In addition to the renovation work, a new heating and ventilation system was installed in the room and insulation was added as part of the construction. Funds for these aspects of the project were paid for through part of NMCC’s share of the higher-education bond passed by Maine voters last November.