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May 9, 2016

Bigelow Lab starts construction on 15,000-square-foot dorm

Ground has been broken on a 15,000-square-foot, 32-bed residence building intended for students and scientists visiting the East Boothbay campus of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

Funding for construction came from the Harold Alfond Foundation, which provided a $3.1 million award for the two-story dormitory that was met with a match from an anonymous donor. A separate endowment has been established to cover maintenance and operating costs of the new facility for 50 years.

“This new residence will allow us to expand our educational programs so more students and professionals have access to our world-class scientists," Graham Shimmield, executive director of Bigelow, said in a statement about the new building.

A partial green roof will help absorb rainwater, provide insulation and help create a “natural” look for the structure. A mixture of glass, natural wood, aluminum and preformed concrete construction materials will promote longevity and easy maintenance, while allowing the building to blend into the wooded acreage of the waterfront site. A 75-kilowatt array of photovoltaic cells will provide energy to meet all electricity needs of the residence, including heating and ventilation, according to Bigelow Laboratory.

Scott Simons Architects of Portland designed the building.The Portland office of Consigli Construction Co. Inc. is providing construction management services.

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