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CFCC Sets Sights On New Ship

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By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – Cape Fear Community College says it plans on spending the 2007 legislative session lobbying for a brand new research vessel.

The college not only sends its students out to sea on the research ship the R.V. Dan Moore, but it also charters the ship out to research groups.

Jason Roberts is Chair of the Marine Technology Department. He says the legislature has already funded designs to replace the 40-year-old vessel and now the college needs money to build a new ship.

You know what I try to tell people, is not to look at it as a ship; it's essentially a facility. It's just like constructing a building on campus, it's a facility, it is our floating laboratory, our floating classroom.

Roberts says Cape Fear Community College's new research vessel comes with a roughly $7.5 million price tag.

Watchdog group NC Justice Center says lawmakers can expect to face at least a one billion dollar budget shortfall while putting together the 2007 state budget.