BUCKSPORT, Maine (AP) — Maine Maritime Academy has purchased part of a former paper mill to house a new center offering continuing-education.

The academy's new building is expected to eventually draw 2,4000 students to Bucksport each year. The facility will provide workforce development training, firefighting training as well as specialized courses for professional mariners and academy-enrolled students.

The Maine Maritime Academy Center for Professional Mariner Development is set to sit on four acres on property once home to the former Verso Paper mill site.

The new center will include an existing 20,000-square-foot administration and instruction building that will include training labs and simulator spaces.

Maine Maritime Academy plans to start occupying the property this fall following renovations. The academy also expects to open a firefighting training facility in the spring of 2020.

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