ST. GEORGE — The town is partnering with the Mid-Coast School of Technology to construct a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade career technical education/makerspace building adjacent to the St. George School.

The new building will include a shop space for carpentry, metalworking and boat building; an upstairs makerspace with 3D printers, a laser cutter, and CNC routers; and a classroom and gallery project area.

“We want to bring the trades, technology, and innovation back to the heart of public education and allow all students to engage in hands-on/minds-on projects,” according to a news release from the school.

The objectives of the project are to engage students in learning that matters to them, their families, and their community; help students develop the necessary technical, creative thinking, and social-emotional skills to meet existing labor force needs and create new businesses and industries; and strengthen the local economy.

The idea for this project came from parents and community members who understood the importance of hands-on learning and remembered the work of the Lillius Gilchrist Grace Institute, which for more than 70 years provided St. George students with training in carpentry, metal working and the culinary arts.

In addition, the project builds on the success of the Makerspace Initiative and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) program that allows students to create using tools that include 3D printers, a laser cutter, robotics equipment, and computer programing and design software. The project is rooted in the history and hearts of our community, which includes generations of builders, entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators.

The organizers have raised $1.2 million in grants, private donations, business sponsorship, and a Buy-A-Brick fundraiser. An additional $300,000 is needed to start construction.

For more information about other ways to support the project and get involved, contact Superintendent Mike Felton (m.felton@stgeorgemsu.org; 542-6394 or School Board member Kristin Falla (k.falla@stgeorgemsu.org).