University College Announces New Center Location in Rumford, Renovations of Former Mill Underway

Augusta / Rumford, Maine – University College (UC) of the University of Maine System announced today that renovations on a new Center location in Rumford are underway, with an August 1st opening anticipated.

The UC Center at Rumford / Mexico will be moving from its current location at 13 Brown Street in Mexico to the River Valley Technology Center, 60 Lowell Street in Rumford.

Lisa Cooper, Center Director, sees the move as an opportunity to enhance access to over 100 degree and certificate programs from across the University of Maine System.

“We began discussing the idea about a year ago,” Cooper said.  “I investigated potential sites in Mexico, Dixfield, and Rumford.  The River Valley Technology Center seemed to provide the most visible, centralized, and flexible option.”  Cooper says that U Maine Trustees approved the proposal in January.

Renovations of the former mill space are underway.  River Valley Technology Center is acting as project manager.  Building Solutions, LLC of Oxford is serving as the contractor for the project.

The move signals another step forward for University College and its eight Centers across Maine, which deliver degree programs from across the entire system.  A unit of the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA), University College offers comprehensive support and advising services to both traditional and non-traditional age students.  Each Center works closely with a variety of partners, enhancing regional economies by providing access to higher education in communities.

Lisa Cooper on The Voice of Maine (WVOM-FM)

“Improving access to high quality education throughout the state is a priority to us here at UMA,” said UMA President James Conneely. “The new Rumford location will provide the Western Maine Region with a spacious and comfortable settings as well as a technologically advanced facility that will give students direct access to UMA and its many degree options and services,” he added.

For over two decades, the UC Center at Rumford / Mexico has served the region, often answering the “what’s next” question for workers displaced by Maine’s ongoing loss of manufacturing jobs.

Cooper, who is also the Director of the UC Center at Norway / South Paris, sees potential for the new Center location to spark economic development.

“The River Valley Technology Center was created to encourage economic development in the historic downtown of Rumford – known as the ‘island’ – by acting as an incubator space for new start-up businesses,” Cooper explained.  “We hope that our move will act as a catalyst and anchor for further tenant occupancy in that manner.”

She feels that the move will also put higher education front-and-center within the community, demonstrating the importance that the community puts on aspiration, in addition to showcasing the importance of a well-trained work force.

“By showcasing the local access that UC provides for the region to higher education, we hope to encourage more prospective students to take advantage of that opportunity,” Cooper said. “The new space, centralized within the downtown, also puts us within walking distance of other downtown businesses, along with municipal authorities, and community partners.  Hopefully this new location for our Center will encourage new collaborative opportunities and invigorate customer traffic.”

University College: Online, Affordable and Local

Online, affordable and supported by eight local Centers across Maine, University College allows students – traditional, adult and those returning to complete their degree – access to over 100 certificate and degree programs from the University of Maine System.  Students access the resources of campuses while studying online, at their local Center, or pursuing a mix of online and traditional classroom instruction while staying close to home.

University College is located on the UMA campus, and operates Centers at Bath/Brunswick, East Millinocket, Ellsworth, Houlton, Norway/South Paris, Rockland, Rumford/Mexico, and Saco.

University College offers financial support to students with programs such as the Adult Degree Completion Scholarship, in addition to providing comprehensive advising services.

Click here to read the Portland Press Herald story about the new UC at Rumford/Mexico location.

Click here to read the Sun Journal article about the move to Rumford for the Center.

Click here to read the Fox-Bangor article/video about the move to Rumford for the Center.

Click here to read the Bangor Daily News story about the new UC at Rumford/Mexico location.