PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The University of Southern Maine is adding a new prayer room to better accommodate Muslim students and students of other faiths.

The Portland Press Herald reports the $100,000 project includes a gender neutral bathroom with a foot-washing station Muslim students can use for ritual washing. University officials say the new prayer room will also stay open later than the university's Campus Life office prayer room.

Student Senate Chairwoman Muna Adan says students asked for a space that met their needs.

Many students come from immigrant community in Greater Portland. USM says first-generation college students, many of them immigrants, comprise more than half of each incoming class.

The prayer room will be open to students of all faiths. Construction will be completed by late October or early November.

___

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com