A Colby College alumnus has donated $1 million for a community space within a new student residence being built in downtown Waterville.
The money will be used to build the 3,800-square-foot Chace Community Forum. The gift also will endow lectures, workshops and symposia organized by students to help them interact with the Waterville community.
The money is from Malcolm Chace, who received a BA in economics from the college in 1990 and is now managing director at investment group WhaleRock Point Partners LLC of Providence, Rhode Island.
The forum also will house the Waterville City Council, so students can attend public meetings more easily. Plans call for the forum to have flexible seating, a catering kitchen for local businesses and state-of-the-art, audio-visual equipment.
It will be on the first floor of the dorm complex along with retail space. The 100,000-square-foot dormitory, which will be called the Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, is scheduled to open in late August. It will have four- and six-bedroom apartments for 200 students and for faculty and staff, a lounge, fitness area and classroom space.
“This downtown project is unique in the way that it connects our students to the community through civic engagement,” Colby President David A. Greene said in a prepared statement.
The commons is part of a bigger project to revitalize downtown Waterville funded by $10 million in Alfond Foundation grants matched with an equal amount from Colby, plus money from the city of Waterville and private donors. Other buildings in the project include a hotel and office space.
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