PARIS – The $130,000 that the Western Maine University and Technical College was short is no longer an issue.

Brett Doney, chief executive officer of the Growth Council of Oxford Hills, announced that he received notification that the project had been awarded a $100,000 grant and $30,000 would be provided by the University of Maine System and Maine Technical College System.

Charles M. Lyons, president of the University of Maine at Augusta and Scott Knapp, president of Central Maine Community College, agreed that the formation of the university was a tremendous partnership for all involved and a “great thing for Oxford Hills.”

Doney announced that the Davis Foundation awarded $25,000 to the project and the Betterment Fund awarded $75,000.

He said grant writer Lori Allen submitted about seven grants in January seeking funding, with two being awarded. He said if any other grant money came through, it would most likely be used to figure out how to get people back to school, since the building necessities are secured.

Doney also gave an award to state Sen. Rick Bennett, R-Norway, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud for their backing of the project when they both shared the presidency of the Senate.

He said without their support the project would have never been established.

Last year, $1.8 million was established for the project to refurbish the old Oxford County Fair Exhibition Building on Route 26 in Paris through a referendum article.

The center will offer college and technical courses.

Bennett, who has been in government for 12 years, said nothing in all that time had been more important than working on this project and that nothing was more transforming than education.

“The physical presence of education is here,” he said.


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