AUBURN – “We have asked Central Maine Community College to be part of the solution to our area’s low percentage of college-educated people – and they have really come through. They’ve doubled the number of students; and now we need to make sure that those students have the quality educational resources they deserve,” said Ray Martel, chairman of the Central Maine Community College Foundation board of directors, in announcing a fund drive for facilities at the college.

“The college has done an excellent job of allocating its resources, but its tremendous and rapid growth, along with its new accreditation, requires us to raise $750,000 very soon to complete some exciting projects,” said Martel.

The fund-raising effort, called the First Decade Campaign, will provide money to complete three projects.

First, the recently-opened Lapoint Center will be finished. The building was pressed into service for the fall 2002 semester to meet the demands of the increase in students. “It’s safe and it is working well,” said Scott Knapp, college president. “But we haven’t been able to purchase all the furniture we need or complete the technology plan for the building.”

The second project is renovation and expansion of the library. “Our two new associate in arts programs are the fastest growing sector of the college,” said Knapp. “Graduates will continue their education at a university or other four-year college. We want to make sure they are prepared with experience using the full spectrum of information resources, so we have expanded the library. We still need to fully implement the equipment and technology plan for the facility; we also need to enhance our collection of publications and on-line resources.”

The final project is a renovation and expansion of the college dining and meeting facility. “The existing dining hall was built in 1975, when the college had about a third the number of students we serve today,” said Charles Collins, dean of students.

“Improving the serving areas and enlarging the seating capacity has been so important to the students that they have allocated a portion of their student activity fees to this project for the past several years. We need to match their efforts to get this project completed as soon as possible. There’s a limit to how far we can expand the ‘lunch hour’!”

“The First Decade Campaign has gotten off to a tremendous start; we’ve already raised more than 20 percent of the total we need,” said Martel. “Board members, area businesses and college staff have come forward to make this project possible. We are at a defining moment in the college’s history; we are hoping that our whole community will come together to invest in the future of this great resource.”

For more information about the campaign, contact the foundation at 755-5275.

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