Boat school stays afloat

EASTPORT, Maine –Washington County Community College’s Marine Trades Center, known locally as the boat school, has received a $75,000 commitment from Maine Governor John Baldacci to keep the school at its current location, according to a report in the Bangor Daily News.

Community college officials had announced earlier this year that they planned to mothball the facility and move classes to the Calais campus, according to the Daily News. But City Manager George “Bud” Finch and others reportedly decided to fight the move.

Seemingly the group convinced the governor to fund the school.

“The governor has agreed to work with the [Community College] system, the local legislative delegation, the city and local interested parties to find funding for the financial gap necessary to keep the school open and operating in Eastport,” Finch told the Daily News Thursday.

The governor’s press secretary, Lynn Kippax, confirmed to the Daily NewsThursday that the governor has committed $75,000 in new money to the school.

“That money will allow classes to start in September,” Kippax told the Daily News. “The governor knows that the boat-building industry is important and vital to Maine’s economy and cultural heritage. And he also notes that the boat-building industry needs workers and the boat school in Eastport is a demonstration by the governor of that fact. And its another indication of the governor’s belief that Maine and Washington County deserve a diverse economy that provides long-lasting benefits to all.”

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