A rendering of the front of Bigelow Laboratory shows the new entrance and the planned expansion to the right. The 25,000-square-foot addition will be completed in spring 2025 and provide the resources needed for the institute’s growing education, collaboration and workforce development programs. Courtesy of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will host a celebration for the groundbreaking of its new, 25-,000-square-foot center for ocean education and innovation Thursday, Oct. 12.

At the event with Bigelow Laboratory scientists, representatives of Maine’s Congressional delegation and other supporters, attendees will learn about how the center will enable new research and education initiatives for the benefit of Maine’s residents, ecosystems and economy. The $30 million expansion will revolutionize Bigelow Laboratory’s education and solutions-focused work with teaching labs, research facilities and a 300-seat forum that will be a resource for the broader community, according to a prepared release.

Construction and future maintenance of the new facilities has been made possible in part by an $8 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation, a $12 million federal grant secured by Maine congressional leaders, and more than $9 million from individual and institutional donors. The new center is slated to be complete in 2025.

The groundbreaking ceremony at 60 Bigelow Dr. in East Boothbay runs from 3:30-4:30 p.m., with official photos around 4:15 p.m. An open reception, featuring a video message from Sen. Angus King, will follow until 5:30 p.m. This event is rain or shine. Register to attend in advance at bigelow.org/groundbreaking.

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