The UMaine Community is proud to unveil three new University of Maine entrance signs installed this week at the three points of entry of the University of Maine. This installation is a significant event under the UMaine Blue Sky Project Branding Initiative and the Paint, Polish and Plant Initiative of Pathway 3: Embracing a Culture of Excellence: Promoting Spirit, Community and Collaboration and Pathway 5: Restoring the Dream: Renewing Pride and Stewardship of Place. The signs, replacing the nearly 20-year-old University of Maine signs, were designed by UMaine’s Division of Marketing and Communications and were paid for by the Thayer Fund for Campus Excellence, a private gift endowment fund.
Archive for the ‘Pathway 5’ Category
The Orono Comprehensive Plan Committee encourages members of the UMaine community to participate in a public workshop on the town’s comprehensive plan. The forum, 6–9 p.m., Nov. 12, Orono Municipal Building, will focus on policies and actions for housing, the economy and in-town land use. The committee seeks public input on such issues as zoning for more in-town housing for families; the need to preserve single-family neighborhoods; ways to encourage startups, food-related businesses, R&D and light manufacturing; and downtown improvements. Draft proposed policies are online.
The Wyeth Family Studio Art Center was dedicated Sept. 29 at the University of Maine honoring the legacy of the three generations of internationally recognized artists intrinsically linked to the state’s storied visual arts tradition.
“This is a remarkable gathering of people who love art and love the University of Maine,” said UMaine President Paul Ferguson, looking out over the audience of more than 275. “We want to use this day to reaffirm the central role of art and the appreciation of art in who we are as humans.”
“Our vision in the Blue Sky Project is to aspire to be the most student-centered and community-engaged of the American research universities,” Ferguson said. “This is a perfect example of what we want to be known for at the University of Maine — a place where students learn, grow and are inspired, and where the community comes together to understand our role and mission.”
Artist Jamie Wyeth, the son of Andrew Wyeth and grandson of N.C. Wyeth, was among the dignitaries attending the ceremony. In his remarks, he reflected on his first tour of UMaine’s art facilities in 2001, when he was on campus to receive an honorary degree, and the progress made since then to create a new center for art education named in his family’s honor, which he called “quite extraordinary.”
If just one student “walks into that (new) studio space — as I did over 40 years ago in my grandfather’s studio — and catches fire, it will all be worth everything,” Wyeth said of the long-awaited arts facility.
David Michaelis, the author of two national best sellers, including “N.C. Wyeth: A Biography,” spoke on “Father. Mother. Front Porch. Easel, the Wyeth House of Masters.”
“The endurance of the Wyeths as a family in art says something about who we’ve become and what we still value,” said Michaelis.
The dedication ceremony included tours of the new facility led by UMaine faculty and students. In one of the painting studios were works by students who had never before taken brush to canvas.
“We get a lot of students who are first-generation college students and going to be first-generation artists,” said UMaine artist and professor James Linehan. “That’s what I love about teaching — and about teaching in Maine. It’s our hope and desire that our new art facility will become a beacon for young artists from everywhere, but especially from small towns in Maine, that they can get a first-rate art education in first-rate studios right here in Maine at a public university open to everyone.”
The Wyeth Center is UMaine’s new studio art facility, located in the recently renovated Stewart new media/art complex on campus. The more than $10 million renovation of Stewart was made possible with funding from gifts; grants, primarily from the Maine Technology Institute; and state bonds.
The private donations included a $1 million naming gift in honor of the Wyeth family that was made possible through the efforts of Maine business leader Charles Cawley and Bank of America. Generous gifts also were received from Bangor Savings Bank and members of the UMaine Class of 1963.
UMaine’s Department of Art annually offers dynamic, interdisciplinary programs in a challenging, supportive environment for more than 130 art majors, more than 80 students minoring in art, and 300 nonmajors. UMaine offers a B.A. in art history, art education and studio art, and a B.F.A. in studio art. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
The Wyeth Family Studio Art Center is part of a three-phase capital campaign to support UMaine’s leadership in 21st-century visual arts education in the state and to recognize the longstanding, vibrant art communities across Maine.
The first phase of the UMaine capital construction campaign for the arts was completed in 2006 with the renovation of UMaine’s historic Lord Hall to house the art education and art history programs.
The Wyeth Center includes a Wyeth Painting Studio, as well as classrooms and studios for printmaking, photography and 3-D design. The Hartgen Drawing Studio is named in honor of the founder of the University of Maine Department of Art, artist Vincent Hartgen.
Also located in 43,600-square-foot building is the university’s new Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center, home to the Department of New Media.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
This week, University of Maine President Paul Ferguson is attending the September meeting of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Steering Committee at Portland State University in Portland, Ore. ACUPCC focuses on presidential leadership in promoting sustainability on college and university campuses, and in communities and in society. The meeting of the 36-member steering committee will include sessions on the public and campus-based roles of presidents in addressing challenges faced by climate change and strategically addressing sustainability solutions. President Ferguson was selected to serve on the steering committee in 2012.
ACUPCC is a consortium of more than 670 colleges and universities committed to reducing carbon emissions and aggressively promoting energy efficiency. The steering committee is ACUPCC’s chief governing body, responsible for guidance, policy and direction. ACUPCC colleges and universities pledge to conduct annual inventories of all greenhouse gas emissions; implement immediate “tangible actions” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; develop a customized climate action plan to reach climate neutrality in operations; make sustainability a part of the educational experience for students; and to make periodic progress reports publicly available to facilitate and accelerate progress for fellow institutions and society. The University of Maine fully participates in the ACUPCC, producing its Climate Action Plan in 2010.
Additionally, the role of higher education in forwarding sustainability is the focus of a new thought leadership series featuring essays by President Ferguson and 10 other college and university presidents nationwide. “Elevating Sustainability Through Academic Leadership” is the 2013–14 edition of Presidential Perspectives, a higher education leadership series sponsored by ARAMARK. Now in its eighth year, ARAMARK’s Presidential Perspectives is a collection of essays by college and university presidents whose institutions are at the forefront of innovative practices.
President Ferguson’s contribution is entitled “A Sustainability State of Mind: Smart Growth for UMaine as A Green Campus with Blue Sky Thinking.” In addition to President Ferguson, other contributing thought leaders for this year’s Presidential Perspectives include presidents Michael Crow, Arizona State University; Mark Huddleston, University of New Hampshire; Wim Wiewel, Portland State University; Gloria Larson, Bentley University; Jonathan Gibralter, Frostburg State University; Harry Williams, Delaware State University; Theodora Kalikow, University of Southern Maine; and presidents emeriti David Shi, Furman University; Judith Ramaley, Winona State University; and David Hales, College of the Atlantic. Dr. Hales is the current president of Second Nature. Beginning this month, one chapter essay of Presidential Perspectives will be released each month.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Emera Astronomy Center at the University of Maine will be held April 29 at 2 p.m.
The $5.2 million astronomy center is made possible with a $1 million naming gift from Emera Inc., the parent company of Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service.
The Emera Astronomy Center will be the future home of the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory. Construction will begin by mid-May. The 7,400-square-foot center, with adjacent 618-square-foot observatory, could be open as early as fall 2014.
WBRC has teamed with planetarium specialists Kasian on the design of the facility, and Nickerson & O’Day, a Maine-based construction firm, has been awarded the bid for construction.
The site is at the intersection of Rangeley and Long roads on campus, adjacent to the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden.
“This is truly an opportunity for the UMaine community and the state to celebrate Emera’s investment in the University of Maine, the study and appreciation of Maine’s night sky, and the spirit of philanthropy,” says UMaine President Paul Ferguson. “This facility, with its focus on education and outreach, will be a landmark in Maine, and it would not have happened without Emera’s generous gift.”
Expected to join President Ferguson for the groundbreaking ceremony will be Chris Huskilson, President and CEO, Emera Inc., and Gerry Chasse, President and COO, Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service.
“Emera is proud to invest in the communities where we live and work. We’re also working to make energy cleaner, so the center’s use of geothermal heat pumps is a great example of renewable energy use,” says Chris Huskilson.
The groundbreaking event also celebrates the investment and vision of an anonymous donor who first proposed the astronomy facility to enhance the viewing of the night sky, and who provided $3.2 million in funding to help make the project a reality.
The new Emera Astronomy Center will feature a planetarium dome 33 feet in diameter — the largest in the state — equipped with a state-of-the-art Definiti projection system. The new observatory’s 20-inch digital PlaneWave CDK20 telescope also will be the largest in Maine.
The center will include innovative exterior lighting designed to help preserve the dark-sky critical to enhanced stargazing.
The center will be heated with geothermal heat pumps – the first building at UMaine to benefit from this energy efficient electric technology.
The Emera Astronomy Center will enhance UMaine’s role in outreach to K–12 students and promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. The planetarium and observatory will complement the many other efforts at UMaine to attract students to scientific disciplines by inspiring children — and all those who are children at heart — about the science of astronomy.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
President Paul Ferguson was mentioned in a WVII (Channel 7) report about the University of Maine being named a “top green school” for the fourth year in a row.
The University of Maine’s Paint, Plant and Polish Program, which began last year as a Presidential Initiative, continues to improve the UMaine campus as part of the Blue Sky Plan Pathway 5, chaired by UMaine alumnus John Rohman and co-chaired by Stewart Harvey, executive director of facilities and capital management services.
To improve campus infrastructure and appearance, UMaine President Paul Ferguson initially reallocated approximately $2.5 million. This funding was derived from energy cost-savings realized through improved utility and fuel contracts, increased campuswide efficiencies, as well as overall cost reductions on a one-time basis. Paint, Plant and Polish now will be sustained annually by approximately $320,000 from the newly endowed Hosmer Fund in the University of Maine Foundation.
This first year included more than a dozen campus buildings and academic areas identified as improvement and deferred maintenance priorities by the deans of UMaine’s colleges, including the Honors College, as well as staff of Facilities Management. More than $1.6 million is earmarked for classroom upgrades and improving accessibility, and approximately $800,000 will be directed for painting and minor maintenance to preserve the integrity of campus buildings, including UMaine’s “legacy assets.” Much of the work began last summer and employed numerous local Maine painting and construction companies, as well as elevator, furniture and equipment suppliers.
Paint, Plant and Polish is a four-pronged approach to infrastructure improvement, focusing on classroom upgrades, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades, energy-saving initiatives and painting projects. Many are aimed at addressing deferred maintenance that has resulted from decades of budget cuts. All will improve the quality of life for students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus, according to Janet Waldron, UMaine’s senior vice president for administration and finance.
“How the campus looks really matters,” Waldron says. “We have a beautiful campus with legacy buildings. The benefit of these investments is improved aesthetics, higher quality classrooms, more accessible facilities, and an enhanced impression of campus for visitors and prospective students.
“Proper stewardship of our infrastructure is important, but also because it makes financial sense. Maintenance costs quadruple if not timely executed,” Waldron says. “Facilities Management is pleased to partner in the initiatives of the Blue Sky Project to care for UMaine’s irreplaceable campus assets, such as Fogler Library.”
Among the buildings slated for improvements:
- Estabrooke Hall, where the first floor is being renovated for office space for Honors College faculty and the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE), as well as an interactive, general-purpose classroom with sophisticated audiovisual equipment. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2013.
- Fogler Library, which will receive exterior painting and partial first-floor renovation to create additional collaborative academic space for student study groups. Painting was completed last summer and renovations are planned for this summer.
- Crosby Lab, where an elevator will be installed to provide handicapped access to the second floor, and restrooms will be renovated to meet ADA guidelines. The project is expected to be completed this summer.
- Clapp Greenhouse, which will receive some upgrades in the south end teaching area. The project is expected to be completed this spring.
- D.P. Corbett, which received exterior painting last summer, and where desks and seating in two first-floor classrooms will be replaced. The project is expected to be completed this summer.
In addition to the projects associated with the Paint, Plant and Polish Program, several other capital projects are under way that will significantly enhance the UMaine campus, including a $5.2 million Astronomy Center in 2013. Other capital improvement projects:
- Nutting Hall received a $3.95 million energy upgrade with roof, insulation, façade and window replacements. Construction was completed in late summer.
- Alumni Hall will receive an estimated $495,000 second-floor renovation and repurposing to relocate the Division of Marketing and Communications from the Keyo Building. While the renovation will address safety, structural and access issues, it will also enable the strategic relocation of Marketing and Communications consistent with the Blue Sky Pathways 2 and 3 through enhanced synergies resulting from the proximity to Enrollment Management, Academic Affairs and Research. Renovation to this historic building will be accomplished in summer 2013 and make available the Keyo Building to support the strategic procurement initiative.
- Memorial Gym and New Balance Field House will receive a $15 million renovation, made possible by a state-backed revenue bond, gifts from New Balance, the Harold Alfond Foundation, and several other private donors, including Tom and Sally Savage. Renovations are expected to begin May 13.
- A $6.4 million Wind and Wave Research Facility will be built as a 12,000-square-foot addition to the Offshore Wind Laboratory of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The facility will house a robotics laboratory for the manufacture of wind blade components and a 10-meter by 30-meter freshwater basin for testing scale models of scale-model turbines. The 5-meter deep basin will be equipped with wind and wave generators. The facility is funded by a $2.9 million EDA grant and a $3.5 million match from UMaine. Construction will begin in March and is expected to be completed this fall.
Regular updates on projects in the Paint, Plant and Polish Program, as well as other major projects associated with Pathway 5 to promote our stewardship of place at UMaine can be found on the Blue Sky Implementation website.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The Portland Press Herald reported on a $7.9 million donation received by the University of Maine from the estate of 1958 graduate Thomas Homser.
The University of Maine has been named one of the top scorers in the annual “Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition,” and was one of only 16 profiled institutions named to its “Green Honor Roll” for receiving energy-efficiency and sustainability ratings of 99 —the highest possible score. (more…)