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Maine boatbuilding school undergoes transition

The Boat School is on schedule to complete its separation from Husson University in May, school officials announced.

The Boat School's facility, Maine's Marine Technology Center, is now wholly owned and operated by the independent non-profit corporation Friends of the Boat School. Classes are remaining uninterrupted during the transition, and students are now being accepted for The Boat School's 2012-13 academic-year programs.

Moving forward, The Boat School will continue to offer its wooden-boat building and composites boatbuilding vocational courses and will add a marine mechanics program, beginning in the fall of 2013.

This year's graduating class will be the last under Husson University.

“We're very pleased with how smoothly the transition with Husson has gone,” Bret Blanchard, director of Maine's Marine Technology Center, said in a statement. “We appreciate Husson's contribution to our program for the past few years, and we're proud to move forward independently. The basic operations are unchanged, the quality of the curriculum remains high and the Eastport [Maine] community is very supportive.”

The Boat School has been providing marine vocational education since 1969. Its partnership with Husson University of Bangor, Maine, began in 2007. After the retirement of Husson president William Beardsley, the private college decided to refocus its efforts on its degree-granting programs and said it would sever ties with The Boat School.

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