Groundbreaking for New Astronomy Center at UMaine 

Construction will soon be underway on a new place to study the stars at the University of Maine. Officials broke ground Monday afternoon on the Emera Astronomy Center. The center’s expected to cost about $5.2 million.Emera – the parent company of Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service – is giving $1 million to the project. An anonymous donor pitched in more than $3 million to get the center going.When it’s done, the center will house the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory, along with a new telescope that’s the biggest in the state.Alan Davenport, the director of the planetarium, says, “The new planetarium is going to be a whole new different animal that’s very exciting and digitally operated and digitally smart. So that we’re actually going to be able to travel into space to nearby stars and to distant galaxies to see how the universe is put together.”Emera Inc. President and CEO Chris Huskilson says, “We see this project as a project that can really make a difference in this part of the state. And it’s something that I think people from all walks of life, all ages, can really enjoy.”Construction is scheduled to start in the middle of next month. The center could be open as soon as the fall of next year.