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UMass Dartmouth to break ground on $55m facility

UMass Dartmouth will break ground Friday on a $55 million expansion to its School for Marine Science and Technology.

The new 76,000-square-foot facility will be next door to the existing School for Marine Science and Technology, according to a university statement Wednesday. It is being built in collaboration with the state Division of Marine Fisheries.

The university hopes the expansion will create a more comprehensive marine science campus for education and research of commercial fishing, coastal preservation, ocean observation, and climate change.

The campus is located in New Bedford, a town recognized nationally as a top fishing port and a potential base for offshore wind energy development. The combined value of marine economies across the state has been estimated to exceed $130 billion, employing more than 1.3 million people, the university said.

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The groundbreaking is set for 10 a.m. on Rodney French Boulevard in New Bedford.


Sarah Roberts can be reached at sarah.roberts@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @heysarahroberts