FARMINGTON — The new $64 million Mt. Blue campus, which houses Mt. Blue High School and the Foster Technology Center, was the focal point of a tour given to Gold LEAF Senior College members, recently.

After the walk-through of the building, the group experienced a behind-the-scenes look of the culinary arts program’s professional kitchen and sampled a meal prepared and served by the students in the new cafe, The Chef’s Table. A short board meeting, led by Myrna Vallette, followed with 17 members and guests attending.

This showcase project, designed as a community campus, integrates academic, career and technology programs and will soon include classrooms for Franklin County Adult Education and the Franklin County Community College Network.

The building design consists of abundant windows, wood beams, vibrant colors, and geothermal, solar and wood pellet heating systems.

The tour was led by Foster Tech Director Glen Kapiloff, whose pride in the school showed as he led the group past classrooms and labs; the new gym that boasts a public address system that exceeds the clarity of the Cumberland Civic Center in Portland; a 500-seat, acoustically-designed auditorium; a smaller 150-seat performance venue; fully-equipped, modern recording and video studio; and more.

The Regional School Unit 9 school serves Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Temple, Vienna, Weld and Wilton.

Other highlights from the tour: A computer technology class was learning how to construct small drones. A science class had assembled a 3-D printer from a kit. The digital media class offers students a chance to produce and direct videos using the latest equipment. Early childhood teaches students how to work with preschoolers and infants and their families. And business education teaches how to work in a bank or run a business.

The Gold LEAF Institute Senior College is a non-profit, member-led organization, sponsored by the University of Maine at Farmington, that promotes lifelong learning for people age 50 and older. For more information, call 778-7063, email [email protected], or view the website at http://goldleaf.wikispaces.com.

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