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Work on two UMFK building projects now underway

June 20, 2003


Construction work on a $7 million, 150-bed, 47,595 square foot residence hall, and on a separate $2 million, 7,584 square foot building to house the Acadian Archives is progressing nicely on the University of Maine at Fort Kent campus.

"Everything is progressing well. Both projects are moving on schedule," said Richard Bouchard, UMFK director of facilities management.

Groundwork is continuing and footing and foundation work has begun at the site of the new residence hall on the north side of the University SportsCenter, which is located on the opposite side of Pleasant Street from the main campus.

Pizzagalli Construction Company, one of the nation's largest privately owned contractors is constructing the residence hall facility. The company, headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont, has an office in South Portland, Maine.

Pizzagalli offers general contracting, construction management and design/build services to private and public clients on a diverse grouping of projects ranging in size from $500,000 to over $100 million.

Completing the site work on the residence hall is a local firm, Soderberg of Caribou. Concrete work on the facility is being done by Norman Plourde and Sons Masonry of Fort Kent.

Meanwhile, across Pleasant Street on the main part of campus to the south side of Blake Library, between that facility and Powell Hall, an existing UMFK dormitory, a foundation will soon be poured for the Acadian Archives building that will sit on that site.

Aroostook County construction firm J.P. Martin and Sons of Caribou is the main contractor for the Archives facility.

Completing the subcontracted site work is Aroostook County firm Trombley Construction of Presque Isle. Masse Construction of Caribou was hired to do the concrete work.

Both the UMFK residence hall building and Acadian Archives project were designed by Port City Architecture of Portland.

Port City offers a comprehensive range of interdisciplinary architectural services specializing in the institutional and commercial design markets.

When complete in time for student occupancy in the Fall of 2004, the new three-story residence hall will house 150 beds.

Incorporated into the design will be a number of suite-style arrangements, and air conditioning in part of the building to accommodate for expanded summer programming at the university. An approximate 90-space parking lot will be constructed adjacent to the facility.

The dormitory is the first project on a University of Maine System campus to be design-built, meaning the architect and contractor proposal was presented to the university in a single package.

The two-story Acadian Archives building will be constructed as a connector building between Powell Hall and Blake Library. It will greatly increase the amount of space on campus for the Archives.

When complete, the building will include a conference room, reading room, work room, Archives reference desk, a bank of computers, research materials stacks, and Archives personnel space on the first floor. The second story will consist of a collections area, accessioning room, and administrative offices for university information resources personnel.

The Acadian Archives was founded in 1990 at UMFK to document, preserve, celebrate, and disseminate information about the history and cultural heritage of Maine's St. John Valley.

The Archives collects manuscripts and audio/visual materials relevant to the history, folklore, and folk-life of the region. It also has a library of reference books and other publications, including U.S. and Canadian census records for the Valley and microfilm editions of local newspapers.