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MCST opening hailed as magnificient

More photos added
By Stephen Betts | Sep 09, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts Midcoast School of Technology Executive Director Beth Fisher, left, and Region 8 Board Chair Jerry White celebrate after the ceremonial ribbon cutting Monday afternoon, Sept. 9, for the new career and technical school.

Rockland — Superlatives were tossed about Monday afternoon, Sept. 9, during the ceremony marking the opening of the new $21.5 million regional technical school.

"This is a magnificent building that will provide students with the skills they need to join today's workforce," Region 8 Vocational Board Chair Jerry White of North Haven said as he and Executive Director Elizabeth "Beth" Fisher cut the ceremonial ribbon.

White later spoke about the importance of vocational education and said he hoped that state and federal officials would understand the importance of such education programs and not just college programs.

The veteran island educator pointed out that there is an 18-year-old who who will be serving as an apprentice at Cianbro Corp. and will make $17 an hour. After the student completes the apprentice program, the pay will go to $25 an hour.

"Fifty thousand dollars a year, that ain't chicken feed," White said. "Those are the kind of jobs we are training students for."

Among the people in attendance at the opening ceremony was Wayne Tibbetts of Rockland. Tibbetts was also present at the grand opening ceremony for the old Midcoast School of Technology when it opened in 1976. Tibbetts served as the second board chair for the regional vocational district.

"This is great; what a difference," Tibbetts said.

The new building is two stories with a total of 90,000 square feet.

The school serves 320 students daily and another 140 through satellite programs at the school districts that send students to the vocational center. There are 21 communities served by Region 8 from Islesboro to Newcastle.

White said the center has a partnership with Kennebec Valley Community College and that people can earn associate degrees.

"This is a tremendous step forward," White said.

State Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, independent of Friendship, said the new school was a great achievement because vocational education provides skills for people who will get good-paying jobs and stay in Maine.

Voters approved the bond referendum for the school in November 2016. Ground was broken in October 2017.

Emma Jordan is a student in the design technology program at Midcoast School of Technology. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
Student Andy Parmley, right, shows state Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, independent of Friendship, a project at the new Midcoast School of Technology. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
Visitors go through the machine tool technology section of the new school. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
The parking lot was filled as visitors came to tour the new Midcoast School of Technology Sept. 9. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
A mural designed by students who were mentored by Katharine Cartwright adorns the exterior and interior part of the main entrance to the new Midcoast School of Technology. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
A view of Rockland Harbor from the second floor cafe at Midcoast School of Technology. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
This is the October 2017 groundbreaking for the new school. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
Matthew Speno, a SAD 40 board member from Union who also serves on the Region 8 Vocational Board, signed a beam March 27, at the then under-construction Midcoast School of Technology in Rockland. Speno's son, Ben, signed the beam earlier in the day. His son attends MCST from Camden Hills Regional High School. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
The new Mid-Coast School of Technology open house Sept. 9 drew a large crowd through the early evening. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
The massive wraparound mural at Mid-Coast School of Technology is a collaboration involving many students under the guidance of artist Katharine Cartwright, and student lead designers Matthew Shaw of Oceanside High School,  Alexys Shaeffer of Camden Hills Regional High School, Juliette Keene of Medomak Valley High School, and lead designer of the inside mural pictured here, Jesse Bifulco of Camden Hills Regional High School. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
Visitors marvel at the auto shop at Mid-Coast School of Technology, where students learn to repair the full range of systems in today's cars, as well as how an auto shop works. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
Mike Drinkwater, state fire and EMS instructor, talks about the Hal patient simulator at the Mid-Coast School of Technology open house Sept. 9. Instructors can change Hal's blood pressure, pupil size, heart rhythm and rate to simulate different medical conditions. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
From left, culinary arts instructur Charles Butler enjoys answering visitors' questions in the gleaming kitchen of the new Mid-Coast School of Technology. Students in the hospitality program also learn baking and pastry-making with instructor Shelby Stevens in a separate kitchen. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
The Mid-Coast School of Technology cafe plans to resume serving the public next semester in this spacious room with a view, which also doubles as a presentation area. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
Visitors explore the shops at the new Mid-Coast School of Technology building during the Sept. 9 open house. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
The woodworking shop at the new Mid-Coast School of Technology building was a popular stop with visitors to the open house Sept. 9. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
As the evening light wanes, visitors to the Mid-Coast School of Technology open house Sept. 9 are drawn to the ocean view, visible from rooms, offices and a hallway at the back of the building. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
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Comments (1)
Posted by: Joanne Lee Richards | Sep 10, 2019 10:43

A fantastic school for our students and adult learners too in the MCST Adult Ed program. A huge thank you to all the supporters in all our communities for realizing the need and providing the best possible school in which to train the next generation of great students in the midcoast.

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