The College of the Atlantic Center for Human Ecology will become the new academic center of campus when its doors open in Fall 2020.The College of the Atlantic Center for Human Ecology will become the new academic center of campus when its doors open in Fall 2020.

Construction of the building, to be located on the north end of the college’s Bar Harbor campus overlooking Frenchman Bay, is expected to be completed by September 2020, COA officials said Monday.

The two-story, 29,000-square-foot building will be called the Center for Human Ecology and will be built to exacting energy standards, reducing energy usage by 80 percent compared to a similar building with more traditional construction designs and materials, officials said. COA, founded in 1969, has an emphasis on environmental sustainability embedded in its curriculum and operations, and has been named by The Princeton Review as the top “green” college in the country in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The college expanded and improved its residential facilities about a decade ago, but this project will be the first new academic building constructed at COA since the 1980s, when it had fewer than 200 students. Today, the college’s student population is strategically capped at approximately 350 in order to maintain the school’s small character.

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