The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine, has announced a $3.1 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation to construct a residence hall for students and visiting scientists.
Designed by Scott Simons Architects of Portland, the two-story, 15,000-square-foot facility will feature a 32-bed residence with four visitor's apartments and a communal student kitchen and social area, adaptable meeting space that can serve dual functions as an auditorium or recreation area, and fitness and laundry areas. The ground floor will be situated below grade to accommodate the natural slope of the landscape, creating a courtyard surrounded by a natural amphitheater. In addition, a partial green roof will absorb rainwater, provide insulation, and create an aesthetically pleasing natural look for the structure, while a 75 kW array of photovoltaic cells will provide the energy needed to meet all electrical, heating, and ventilation needs.
An anonymous donor has matched the grant from the foundation, allowing the project to break ground in April 2016. Bigelow, which provides educational programs to high school students from every county in Maine, undergraduate students from across the United States, and visiting scientists from around the world, has established a separate endowment to cover anticipated maintenance and operating costs of the facility for fifty years.
"We are both honored and delighted that the Harold Alfond Foundation has recognized the value of the laboratory's education programs by offering its generous support, making it possible for us to house students and visitors safely and comfortably on site while participating in our many educational and collaborative research programs," said Bigelow Laboratory executive director Graham Shimmield. "It will allow us to expand our educational programs so more students and professionals have access to our world-class scientists."