College of the Atlantic plans to start construction this spring on a new $13 million, energy-efficient building that will house science laboratories, lecture halls, faculty offices, art and design studios, and a teaching greenhouse.
Construction of the building, to be located on the north end of the college’s Bar Harbor campus overlooking Frenchman Bay, is expected to be completed by September 2020, COA officials said Monday.
The two-story, 29,000-square-foot building will be called the Center for Human Ecology and will be built to exacting energy standards, reducing energy usage by 80 percent compared to a similar building with more traditional construction designs and materials, officials said. COA, founded in 1969, has an emphasis on environmental sustainability embedded in its curriculum and operations, and has been named by The Princeton Review as the top “green” college in the country in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The college expanded and improved its residential facilities about a decade ago, but this project will be the first new academic building constructed at COA since the 1980s, when it had fewer than 200 students. Today, the college’s student population is strategically capped at approximately 350 in order to maintain the school’s small character.
Funds for the new building, including an endowed maintenance budget, have been raised entirely through philanthropy, according to COA. Lead gifts from trustees of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund and trustees of the college have helped to finance the project.
A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....
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