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Governor to Highlight Nov. 20 AEWC Groundbreaking

Contact: Media contact: Nick Houtman, Dept. of Public Affairs, 207-581-3777

ORONO, Maine — Governor John Baldacci will highlight a groundbreaking ceremony November 20 for a two-story addition to the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center at the University of Maine. The 7,100 square-foot expansion will provide laboratory space geared toward technology development and commercialization.

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the AEWC Center. Provost Robert Kennedy will welcome participants who will include University of Maine System Chancellor Joseph W. Westphal, University of Maine President Peter S. Hoff, AEWC Director Habib Dagher and State Senator Mary Cathcart.

The existing AEWC facility opened in 2000 and provides space for wood composites research and structural testing. The addition will enable engineers and scientists to conduct studies of interest to the shipbuilding industry and continue work on a new product, oriented strand lumber.

Financial support for the project was included in a bond referendum approved by the voters last June. WBRC of Bangor has designed the addition. H. E. Sargent of Old Town will be the general contractor.

Over the past four years, the AEWC has received more than $26 million in federal research funding. The center has worked with many Maine businesses on technology development. In 2002, AEWC laminated wood beam studies led to the creation of a new company, Engineered Materials of Maine in Bangor.

Governor Baldacci awarded the AEWC one of five Governor’s Awards for Accomplishment in Maine’s Natural Resource-Based Industry at a Blaine House Conference Monday in Augusta.

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