BUCKSPORT, Maine (AP) — Maine Maritime Academy’s Center for Professional Mariner Development is celebrating its first anniversary after an inaugural year that launched amid a global pandemic.

The center, which opened in February 2020, successfully hosted over 300 enrollees and 91 classes despite a three-month pause in live instruction.

“It was not without its challenges, but our staff and instructors never wavered in their dedication to continuing to provide excellent training and professional development opportunities for students from around the country," said William J. Brennan, President of Maine Maritime Academy.

The center's offerings range from introductory courses like fishing vessel safety to advanced curricula that focus on things like shipboard systems associated with tanker operations.

The center is located on the site of the former Verso Paper Mill. The building was renovated by Maine Maritime to include smart classrooms, meeting spaces and a conference hall.