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BAR HARBOR, MAINE - The National Park Service (NPS) and SERC Institute are hosting two public events to celebrate the grand opening of the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC), which is located in the Schoodic District of Acadia National Park in Winter Harbor, Maine.The NPS has invested nearly $18 million in Congressional appropriations and park user fees over the past nine years to transform the former Naval Security Group Activity base to a state-of-the-art campus for SERC and support the local economy.The total investment includes $9.3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which played a significant role in advancing the conversion of the navy base facilities.The facilities include classrooms, laboratories, lodging, dining rooms, and a 125-seat auditorium on a newly landscaped, pedestrian-friendly campus.
A grand opening ceremony will be held on Wednesday, August 24, starting at 2:00 p.m. at SERC.The ceremony will include a presentation of remarks followed by a reception under an open-air tent.Scheduled speakers include Senator Susan M. Collins (Maine); Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (Maryland); Ms. Elizabeth Williamson, Regional Director, U.S, Department of Education; Dr. Gary E. Machlis, Science Advisor to the NPS Director; and Mr. Alan J. Goldstein, Chairman, SERC Institute Board of Directors.The new campus and facilities will be open for touring from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. after the presentation.NPS and SERC Institute staff will be on hand to answer questions and highlight SERC's programs and activities.
In addition, a community open house is scheduled for Saturday, August 27, from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. at SERC.The open house will include tours of the new facilities, kid's activities, and a cookout generously supported by Hannaford.The events are free and open to the public.For more information, please call 207-288-1310.
In 2002, the NPS acquired the 100-acre navy base and began converting the facilities from a military use to educational and research use in cooperation with the Maine Congressional delegation, U.S. Department of Defense, and State of Maine.In 2004, the NPS created a nonprofit organization, the SERC Institute, to help develop and manage the facilities, and support the mission of SERC, which is to guide present and future generations to greater understanding and respect for nature by providing research and learning opportunities through its outstanding park setting, unique coastal Maine facilities, and innovative partnership programs.
The NPS and SERC Institute are working together to create a world-class research and learning institution at Acadia National Park dedicated to supporting scientific research in the park, providing professional development for teachers, and educating students to become a new generation of stewards who will help conserve our natural and cultural treasures.The grand opening will celebrate this vision and the successful transformation of the navy base to a new campus for SERC.