On Tuesday, William J. Brennan, president of Maine Maritime Academy (MMA), announced that a purchase and sale agreement has been signed with American Iron and Metal (AIM), owners of the former Verso paper mill in Bucksport, to acquire a six-acre parcel of land to locate the college’s new Center for Professional Mariner Development (CPMD). The agreement is expected to be finalized following a 60-day due-diligence period, after which a closing date will be determined.

According to MMA, the CPMD will provide state-of-the-art training for undergraduate students, professional mariners, and workforce development. For professional mariners CPMD will offer highly specialized courses that enable mariners to receive certification and credentials to meet maritime regulatory and industry-sector demands.

The new center will be a public-private venture. “Maine Maritime Academy’s new Center for Professional Mariner Development will be an auxiliary enterprise, the revenue from which will support the college’s mission and programs,” said President Brennan in the MMA’s news release. “A phased approach will ensure that we can steward the finite resources MMA has to devote to the enterprise while simultaneously cultivating private funding.”

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college based in Castine offering programs of study in engineering, management, science and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs. For more information, visit mainemaritime.edu.