DAVID AND BARBARA ROUX provided a $10 million gift for a new building at Bowdoin College.

DAVID AND BARBARA ROUX provided a $10 million gift for a new building at Bowdoin College.

BRUNSWICK

Bowdoin College is planning to construct a new building on its main campus in Brunswick at the corner of Harpswell Road and College Street. The building, expected to open in the mid-to-late fall of 2018, will house a new center for the study of the environment.

Construction is expected to begin in May 2017, pending final approval by the Bowdoin College board of trustees, the Brunswick Planning Board and other local regulatory agencies, according to the college.

The planned location is directly across Harpswell Road from Bowdoin’s Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center on land formerly occupied by Lancaster House, the previous Alpha Kappa Sigma fraternity house.

According to a press release, the center “will bring faculty from many academic disciplines together to encourage collaboration and creativity in the teaching and scholar- ship of the environment and further strengthen Bowdoin’s position as a preeminent institution in this area of study.”

The release states that preliminary plans call for new classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices and an auditorium in a building designed to meet energy standards.

A program committee of faculty, staff and students will guide and oversee the project.

The project is being funded with a $10 million lead gift from David and Barbara Roux of Upperville, Virginia.

“This act of great generosity by Barb and Dave Roux will be transformative for Bowdoin, and we are deeply grateful for their support,” said Bowdoin President Clayton Rose in the release. “This new building, tentatively named The Roux Center for the Environment, will bring together scholars and students from across the sciences, social sciences and humanities. It will create innovative opportunities for coordination and collaboration in research, teaching and scholarship, and enable new and enhanced engagement with those involved in teaching, research, policy, practical uses and stewardship of the environment locally, in the region, across America and around the world.”

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to support Bowdoin and, in particular, to provide an opportunity for the college to build on its many strengths and accomplishments as a leader among liberal arts colleges in the study of environmental issues,” said David Roux in the release. “Our gift is not about the building itself, but rather about the opportunities for the critical work that can be done there.”

Barbara Roux added: “With this support, we are confident Bowdoin will be able to further expand its focus on the environment, educating and motivating a new generation of scientists and policy makers to meet the world’s great environmental challenges.”

The college states that the Rouxs have extensive family ties to Bowdoin College, and that Constance “Connie” Roux is the sister of Maine’s former governor James Longley, a Bowdoin grad, and she also took classes at the college.

David Roux is a member of Bowdoin College’s board, and also serves on the board of Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor.

Bowdoin’s teaching and scholarship around environmental issues currently include faculty and students in the Environmental Studies Program, the Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science and the Arctic Studies Program, as well as in economics, government and legal studies, biology, chemistry and other areas of study.

Research takes place on Bowdoin’s central campus and in other locations, including marine biology at the Coastal Studies Center on Orr’s Island in Harpswell. A a portion of the 250 acres of land acquired by the college at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station is likely to be devoted to environmental studies and other science programs as well.

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When & where

CONSTRUCTION IS EXPECTED to begin in May 2017, pending final approval by the Bowdoin College board of trustees, the Brunswick Planning Board and other local regulatory agencies.

The planned location is directly across Harpswell Road from Bowdoin’s Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center.


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