BATH — The University College of Bath/Brunswick is set to move to Brunswick Landing later this year.
The move will coincide with Southern Maine Community College’s move of its Bath Center from the same 9 Park St. location onto the community college’s Midcoast Campus at the former naval air station.
The University of Maine System board of trustees approved the move Monday in Bangor.
The decision, lauded by one official as a “win-win” situation for the two colleges that have shared resources for several years, will allow the system to sign a five-year lease on behalf of University College for approximately 6,800 square feet in Orion Hall, a building that belongs to SMCC’s Midcoast Campus.
The move is expected to happen sometime after June, when the University College and SMCC leases expire in Bath.
Rent is expected to cost nearly $69,000 a year – about half the cost of the Bath facilities – but overall expenses are expected to be the same for the first five years.
That’s largely due to one-time relocation and renovation costs, estimated to total $350,000, according to Sheri Stevens, executive director of administrative services at the University of Maine at Augusta, which administers several University College locations across the state.
However, she said, the lower rental costs will allow University College to save money over time because the new location is seen as “a much longer term plan.”
The new space will be less than half the size of University College’s nearly 13,000 square-foot Bath location. To compensate, Stevens said, there will be greater sharing of resources with SMCC’s Midcoast Campus.
University College serves about 350 students and offers remote courses for programs at the university system’s flagship campuses. SMCC’s Bath Center serves about 500 students and offers courses in liberal studies, business administration, and paramedicine, among others.
Stevens said University College’s move to SMCC’s Midcoast Campus will benefit students and allow them to take more advantage of programs and services offered by both colleges.
“(SMCC) will have a number of resources our students will have access to,” she said, adding that it will also be easier for SMCC students to transfer into University College programs. “… It’s a win-win-win all the way around for us and them.”