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Southwestern Receives $1 Million Challenge Grant for New Science Center

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    A $1 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation will help Southwestern move forward with construction of a new science center.

Successful completion of the challenge will give Southwestern enough to begin phase one of the project

Southwestern has received a $1 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., that will help it move forward with construction of a new science center.

If Southwestern can raise $1 million in matching funds by the end of 2013, that will bring the total amount raised for the new science center to $8 million. This will be enough to begin work on the first phase of the project, which will add 23,700 square feet of space to Southwestern’s existing Fondren-Jones Science Building. This will be done by constructing an L-shaped addition on the southeast corner of the existing building.

The second phase of the project will be the complete remodeling of the original 1954 section of the science building. When that is completed, a new three-story entrance will be built on the northwest side of the building.

The total cost of the new science center is projected to be $24 million. When complete, the building will have 103,000 square feet for classrooms, offices, seminar rooms and laboratories.

“This challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation is critical to helping us get started on this vital project,” said Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum.

Southwestern hopes to begin construction on phase one of the science center project in November or December 2013. The design process for the project is already under way, and the university hopes to have the new space available for the 2015-2016 academic year.

This is the second challenge grant Southwestern has received from the Mabee Foundation for Thinking Ahead: The Southwestern Campaign, which was publicly launched in March 2006. In April 2006, the foundation gave Southwestern a $1 million challenge grant to help with construction of the Prothro Center for Lifelong Learning.

The Mabee Foundation has given Southwestern several other challenge grants, including a $3 million grant in 1996 to help with construction of the Campus Center and a $1 million gift in 1982 that helped build the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Residence Hall.

“Receiving a challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation is a wonderful endorsement of a project,” President Schrum said, noting that the foundation has partnered with Southwestern on several of the most important construction projects in the university’s history.

Other gifts that have been received to support phase one of the science center project include a $3 million gift from The Cullen Foundation, a $1 million gift from the Fondren Foundation, a $1 million gift from The Brown Foundation, Inc., and a $250,000 gift from the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation.