Public Relations | Press Releases
Release date 11-20-13
KVCC groundbreaking held for new building at Alfond Campus
Hinckley, ME – Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) began a new chapter in its history today with a formal groundbreaking ceremony for a new classroom and laboratory building at the college’s Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley.
The 16,500 square-foot building will be completed in time for the start of the 2014 fall semester, when KVCC will officially open the Alfond Campus. It will be the first new building on the campus.
The building will contain classrooms, faculty offices, laboratories, a computer lab, a 60-seat tiered auditorium, a student lounge and informal learning space. This new structure is central to KVCC’s transition to a two-campus college by next fall. Many of the college’s existing academic programs currently located at the Fairfield campus will move to an existing classroom building on the Alfond Campus in Hinckley. A set of new programs – including Maine’s first two-year degree and certificate programs in sustainable agriculture, food science, and culinary arts – will be based in the new building.
Designed with the goal of achieving net zero energy status, the building will incorporate geothermal wells and a large photovoltaic panel array on its roof to supply electricity and energy for heating and cooling.
The Maine Community College System’s (MCCS) acquisition in 2012 of nearly 600 acres at the former Good Will-Hinckley School in Somerset County offered KVCC the extraordinary opportunity to establish a second campus to develop new academic programs, grow student activities, expand community engagement, and eventually serve a greater number of education seekers in the region who lack convenient, affordable access to high-quality education.
Established on the site with generous support from the Harold Alfond Foundation, the Alfond Campus will provide an ideal environment for dynamic learning in sustainable agriculture, food processing, food security, place-based culinary arts production, renewable energy applications, business entrepreneurship, and early childhood education related to wellness and healthy living.
A centerpiece of the new campus is a 120-acre certified organic farm. The Farm at KVCC will be linked to the new KVCC Center for Farm-to-Table Innovation, a cluster of academic programs, infrastructure and co-curricular activities focusing not only on the vocation of farming, but also on the science and business practices that lead to value-added production of wholesome agricultural products.
Classes began this fall for the first of these programs, a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree program in sustainable agriculture. The second of the programs, a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree program in culinary arts, is now accepting students for the 2014 spring semester.
Together The Farm at KVCC and the KVCC Center for Farm-to-Table Innovation will serve as a statewide hub focused on developing a key segment of the local workforce and supporting the backbone of the mid-Maine economy.
Over the next five years, KVCC is positioning itself to become a significant part of the regional food system. In addition to The Farm at KVCC, the College is planning for the development of a food processing facility that will serve as a center for innovation – a place for farmers and entrepreneurs to test and develop new products for market.
KVCC’s new Sustainable Agriculture program will also help local farmers learn innovative and sustainable techniques to expand the growing season to 365 days per year. The College will be crucial to strengthening Maine’s food-based economy and reasserting the Kennebec Valley as a major food producer. The programs in Sustainable Agriculture and other farm-to-table disciplines will energize and support these efforts and serve as a showplace and working laboratory for Maine farmers, educators, and students of all ages, from all regions of the state.
The College intends to offer programs and services not only for enrolled students, but also for Maine farmers, farm-related business owners, primary and secondary school students, and home gardeners.
KVCC will also continue to offer a wide array of degree programs in liberal arts, trades and technology, business, computer science, and health professions.
The groundbreaking event Wednesday also gave KVCC the opportunity to unveil a new sign for the Alfond Campus next to U.S. Route 201.
Speakers for the event Wednesday included Richard Hopper, President of KVCC; Gregory Powell, President of the Harold Alfond Foundation; and Carol Epstein, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Maine Community College System..
Those attending included Bill Alfond, Founder of The William and Joan Alfond Foundation; Board Member, Dexter Enterprises; and Board Member of the Harold Alfond Foundation. John Fitzsimmons, President of the MCCS, also attended the event.
The architect for the building project is SMRT of Portland, Maine. The construction company for the project is Benchmark Construction of Westbrook, ME.
The new Alfond Campus sign was designed by Building Envelope Specialists of South Portland, ME.
KVCC is one of seven community colleges in Maine and prepares full-time and part-time students to enter the job market, to transfer to colleges and universities, and to achieve their professional and personal goals. Programs and services support the economic growth of the community in response to changing needs.
In 2011 and again in 2012, KVCC was named one of the top community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, placing in the top 10 percent of two-year colleges based on student success rates.
To learn more about KVCC, go to www.kvcc.me.edu.