BRUNSWICK — Southern Maine Community College formally dedicated the newest addition to its midcoast campus Thursday, a $4.5 million academic building partly paid for with donations from L.L. Bean.

The L.L. Bean Learning Commons and Health Science Center has modern classrooms and labs, including high-tech mannequins used to simulate medical problems.

The dedication Thursday coincided with an announcement by L.L. Bean board Chairman Shawn Gorman that the company will donate another $250,000 to be split between Preble Street and the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges in memory of Leon Gorman, former president and chairman, who died last month.

The new building is intended to be the hub of the campus, which opened in 2011 on the grounds of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. It has state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, large common areas, a cafe, advising offices, a library and study rooms, and is intended to serve the 600 students now enrolled at the campus.

SMCC President Ron Cantor praised L.L. Bean for the company’s numerous contributions to the college, including support for the construction of the new building. The company and the Gorman family have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the school and contributed $200,000 toward the landscaping of the building.

“You can’t believe how pleased I am to see the L.L. Bean name on this building,” said Gorman. “There’s no better investment than in your community and your children.”

Students have been using the new building for weeks.

Each classroom has a “smart board,” which essentially turns the entire wall into an interactive computer surface. Some walls have special paint that allows them to function as traditional whiteboards that teachers and students can write on.

The Emergency Medical Services lab contains complex mannequins that accurately simulate medical situations. Examination rooms feature one-way mirrors and cameras, allowing instructors to observe students from a distance as students deal with simulated medical issues.

Students have immediately taken to the building.

“I used to commute to the South Portland campus,” said Kathrine Norcott, a business administration major who lives in the Boothbay region. “It’s made a huge impact on my career as a student.”

Jameson Rodriguez, who is among the first 37 on-campus residents at the school, said, “This is a really nice space to utilize,” and he uses the common areas and study rooms almost every day. He said they have helped him focus on his academics. “I think this is a great tool that people will be able to use.”

Chris Chase can be contacted at [email protected]

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