Site selected for new Engineering Education and Design Center

The new Engineering Education and Design Center (EEDC) will be sited on the current location of the Machine Tool Lab on campus.

The site selection was approved by UMaine President Susan J. Hunter, based on the recommendation of an 11-member university building committee, working with the (EEDC) design team of WBRC Architects Engineers, based in Bangor, and Ellenzweig of Boston. To make its recommendation, the committee spent three months reviewing eight potential sites along with associated costs.

The location for the new facility is between Boardman and Barrows halls, and has frontage along Long Road.

“This site is at the heart of the engineering district, allowing all our students to take advantage of the extensive teaching and project laboratories, as well as active learning classrooms. It will be a highly visible building on the UMaine campus,” says Dana Humphrey, dean of the College of Engineering.

Determining the location of the new center was the critical next step in taking EEDC from concept to reality, says Hunter.

“This is a project that will allow us to advance engineering education to the next level to meet the needs of our students and the state,” Hunter says. “With the site determined, we can now begin to truly envision how EEDC will change the UMaine educational and physical landscape. This project is so exciting because of its statewide impact.”

The one-story Machine Tool Lab, built in 1936, currently houses teaching laboratory spaces and two classrooms, largely for the School of Engineering Technology. These functions will either be accommodated in EEDC or another facility in the engineering district.

Approval by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees of the full design and cost estimate of the Engineering Education and Design Center is planned for later this year, with groundbreaking anticipated in spring 2020 and completion in 2022.

March 19, it was announced that the EEDC project had received an anonymous gift of $10 million from the family of a University of Maine engineering graduate — the single largest capital gift in UMaine history.

Last December, WBRC and Ellenzweig were selected to design the new center, proposed to be up to $80 million. Up to $19 million remains to be raised toward EEDC construction.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745