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December 7, 2023

Child care center in the works for Presque Isle community college

Renovations are underway at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle to convert an academic building, Penobscot Hall, into a new child care center.

The center is designed to serve 47 children, up to age 8. Students and staff will have priority enrollment for their children; secondary priority will go to University of Maine at Presque Isle students. The remaining capacity will be available to the community.

A licensed local provider will operate the facility, and the selection process for that partner will begin in the coming months, the college said in a news release.

The center will serve as a lab school supporting the college's early childhood education program, providing a setting for students to gain the 450 hours of field experience needed to become a state-credentialed child development associate.

In the first five weeks of the project, PNM Construction of Presque Isle will tackle the renovation of heating systems, electrical conduits and outdated sprinkler systems. Interior work will continue through the winter and plans call for starting site excavations and concrete work in the spring, once the snow melts. 

This initiative was made possible through funds from NMCC, the NMCC Foundation, the Maine State Legislature and a grant from the Rodney & Mary Barton Smith Family Foundation.

The Legislature awarded the college $1 million in one-time funding for the project, which also allowed access to $1.5 million in matching funds through the NMCC Foundation and a capital campaign. 

“We've fundraised and planned for this project since 2021, and the community has stepped up to support us on more than one occasion," said Tim Crowley, president of Northern Maine Community College. "We're happy to be working with a local contractor and plan to provide community updates as the project proceeds."

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