Massachusetts Maritime Academy has announced plans to invest $50 million in renewable and responsible energy initiatives. Those efforts include the launch of the academy’s Maritime Center for Responsible Energy (MCRE), construction of a new $30 million energy, engineering and science laboratory building, and the demolition and rebuild of the former Beachmoor Inn to create a 36,000-square-foot professional conference center and hotel.
In a press release, academy officials said the new MCRE will be a hub for offshore wind and other renewable energy initiatives. It will also be a center for the academy’s consulting work in maritime environmental issues, including greenhouse gas and decarbonization efforts.
Features of the new energy, engineering and science laboratory include design space, an aquaculture facility, marine science labs and an offshore wind technical training lab. Design of the new building will begin this fall, with an anticipated opening in 2024, officials said.
The new hotel/conference center will have a Cape Cod look. The new conference center will include a 180-seat function room and multiple smaller breakout spaces. The top floors will offer 35 dorm rooms with a 70-bed total capacity that can also be used for functions and conferences. Academy officials said the new facility is expected to open in 2022.
Rear Admiral Francis X. McDonald, the academy’s president, called the plans being undertaken by the academy certification of the university’s ongoing support “of renewable and responsible energy.” The admiral added that it signifies “our deep global commitment to our stewardship of the world’s oceans for decades to come.”
“This would not be possible without the continued support of our public officials and private donors who have always seen and understood the value that the academy’s research and well-trained cadet workforce adds to a healthy economy,” the admiral said.