LEWISTON — Bates College offered the first look at its new science center on Thursday, releasing an artist’s rendering of a three-story modern design planned for 45 Campus Ave. with large blocks of windows that it’s 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, laboratories and equipment, the school said in a statement.

“Without innovation, a liberal arts college like Bates, I think, very quickly becomes stale,” Michael Bonney, a 1980 Bates graduate and chairman of the school’s board of trustees, said in the statement. “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, who also graduated Bates in 1980, made a $50 million gift to the project from their family foundation.

The college said it has so far 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,” the statement said.

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

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

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