Engineering center bond, bicentennial bill mentioned in Free Press report

The University of Maine was mentioned in Free Press article on news out of Augusta as the 2018 Legislative session begins. On Jan. 11, the Appropriations Committee is scheduled to hear several borrowing proposals to support educational institutions in the state, according to the article. Sen. Bill Diamond will present an $80 million bond to construct an engineering design and education center at University of Maine. The university is in the process of planning to build the center to help meet Maine’s engineering workforce needs and address increased enrollment demands for UMaine’s popular engineering programs, the article states. Liam Riordan, a history professor at UMaine, also was cited in the article. On Jan. 10, the Education Committee will hear LD 1696, which would appropriate $75,000 to fund the Maine Bicentennial Commission in planning for Maine’s bicentennial celebration in 2020, The Free Press reported. Maine became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820. According to Riordan, the movement for the District of Maine to separate from Massachusetts began in 1785, and six popular referendums for statehood were held between 1792 and 1819.