LEWISTON — Bates College on Thursday offered the first look at its new science center planned for 45 Campus Ave., a three-story, modern design with large blocks of windows it is calling “the beacon.”

The 65,000-square-foot center is slated to break ground next year and to open in 2021. It’s designed to house biology, chemistry and neuroscience programs, along with space for classrooms and cutting-edge laboratories and equipment, according to a news release.

“Without innovation, a liberal arts college like Bates, I think, very quickly becomes stale,” Michael Bonney, Class of ’80 and chairman of the Bates board of trustees, said in the news release.

“If we don’t innovate and help our students to develop habits of mind that are apropos for the world into which they’re going to graduate, we’ll become sort of an asterisk in the history of higher education.”

Bonney is CEO of Kaleido Biosciences. He and his wife, Alison Grott Bonney, also Class of 1980, are credited with a $50 million gift to the project from their family foundation.

The college said it so far has raised $186 million in gifts and pledges toward a $300 million effort called The Bates Campaign, “whose goals include both this new facility and the modernization of existing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) structures to optimize teaching and research,” according to the news release.

Once the center is built, Dana Chemistry Hall and Carnegie Science Hall will be updated.

Payette, a national architecture firm, will oversee design and Consigli Construction Co. the construction.

An artist rendering of what a new science building will look like at Bates College. It will be located along Campus Avenue in Lewiston, across from the college’s central campus. (Submitted photo)

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