University of Maine
Ferland

University of Maine holds virtual groundbreaking for engineering center

May 1, 2020
The $78 million Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center is scheduled to open in 2022.

The University of Maine has held a virtual groundbreaking to mark the beginning of construction of a $78 million engineering center.

The 105,000-square-foot Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center is being built on the Orono campus and is expected to be completed in spring 2022. The groundbreaking was moved online because of the social distancing necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center will house the Biomedical Engineering Program and Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as teaching laboratories for the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program.

It also will provide space for all university engineering majors to complete their senior capstone projects and collaborative learning classrooms that will serve the entire campus.

“This is an exciting opportunity for UMaine students to learn skills in emerging fields in state-of-the-art classrooms in biomedical and mechanical engineering labs," says Maine Gov. Janet Mills. "And once we’re on the other side of this pandemic, it will be another crucial tool to help us address our workforce challenges, which is critical to the growth of our economy and our success as a state."

The building’s $10 million naming gift, the largest  gift in UMaine history, came from E. James “Jim” Ferland ‘64 and Eileen P. Ferland, and was announced in 2018.  

“A UMaine engineering education is a wonderful foundation for any number of careers, and in this time of uncertainty, students should take substantial comfort in knowing that 99% of graduates promptly find employment or go on to graduate school – little wonder that engineering school enrollment is growing so rapidly,” according to the Ferlands.

Five additional major naming gifts to the project came from the Abagadasset Foundation; Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation; Harold Alfond Foundation; Packaging Corporation of America; and Pratt & Whitney.

The architects are WBRC Architects Engineers and Ellenzweig. The builder is Consigli Construction.

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