Hemlock Semiconductor is funding a new STEM Center which held a virtual groundbreaking Thursday, May 7.

The Hemlock Area STEM Center is designed to teach kindergarten through high school students Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and provide a space for FIRST Robotics teams. It will be available to students from for Merrill, Swan Valley, St. Charles, Freeland and Hemlock school districts.

Hemlock Semiconductor has funded more than $100,000 for the 4,800 square foot facility. They are also offering a $25,000 match to encourage other businesses and residents to support the full outfitting of the center’s tools and safety features.

The center is being built on land adjacent to Hemlock High School and is expected to be completed by the end of summer. Some classes are expected to be held as soon as the center is finished, while FIRST Robotics teams are expected to begin using the facility in the fall.