Students walk along the University of Maine campus in Orono in this March 12, 2020, file photo. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

The University of Maine plans to begin construction of its new $78 million engineering center in May.

The university held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center on Tuesday. The event had been scheduled to take place in-person, but was moved online because of coronavirus.

UMaine said workers building the center will follow health and safety guidelines in building the 105,000-square-foot facility. It’s expected to be finished by spring 2022.

The facility is slated to house the university’s biomedical engineering program and department of mechanical engineering and laboratories for its mechanical engineering technology program.