Maine boat-building program to be revamped

EASTPORT, Maine — Washington County Community College in Calais and Eastport will suspend its boat-building program for one year due to declining enrollment and high costs, an Associated Press story reported today.

The Marine Technology Center in Eastport, known simply as the Boat School, offers classes in boat building and marine mechanics, and has 24 students enrolled this year, the AP reported.

School president William Cassidy said in the story that the announcement was not part of a movement to eliminate the program. The college has up to two years to revamp it, he said.

“That program is part of our heritage, it is part of our present, and it is part of our future,” Cassidy said. “We are making every effort to retool it, to rejuvenate and regenerate.”

According to school records, only seven graduated in 2003, six in 2002, four in 2001, and two in 2000. Numbers were even slimmer in marine mechanics, with just two graduates in 2003 and none in 2002.

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