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This week's historic double groundbreaking at UMFK will signal $9 million investment into region's economy

May 30, 2003


When University of Maine at Fort Kent officials dig their shovels into the ground for an historic double-groundbreaking on Thursday, June 5, it will signal the start of two campus construction projects that together will total an investment in excess of $9 million into the local region.

Work on a $7 million, 150-bed, 47,595 square foot residence hall is set to begin at UMFK before month's end. Meanwhile, progress can already be seen on campus for the $2 million, 7,584 square foot facility that will house the University's Acadian Archives. Contractors J.P. Martin and Sons of Caribou started the underground utility work for that building last week.

The new residence hall will be located on the north side of the University SportsCenter, which is situated on the opposite side of Pleasant Street from the main campus. The Archives facility will be constructed on the main part of campus on the south side of Blake Library, between that facility and Powell Hall, an existing UMFK dormitory.

When complete, the new three-story residence hall's 150 beds will more than double the existing on-campus student housing available at UMFK.

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 80-space parking lot will be constructed adjacent to the facility.

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

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.

The current Archives facility, which is not handicapped accessible, is housed in a cramped 733 square foot space on the second floor of the Blake Library.

When complete, the new 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.

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

Construction of both new facilities will coincide with UMFK's 125th Anniversary Celebration.

The public is invited to join in the double groundbreaking celebration at UMFK.

Festivities will begin on Thursday at 1:00 p.m., 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.

At the conclusion of events at the residence hall site, groundbreaking attendees will move across Pleasant Street to the "quad" area on the main part of campus to the south side of Blake Library, for a second groundbreaking and social.