L.L. Bean is giving the University of Southern Maine Foundation $850,000 to help support a new campus center with a green campus quad and a scholarship in environmental science.

Most of the money – $750,000 – will go toward construction of the 42,000-square-foot Career & Student Success Center for students, faculty, alumni and employers to connect and collaborate. The building will overlook an acre of green space, to be named the Bean Green, which will transform what had been a paved parking lot.

The center, a campus quad and the adjacent Portland Commons residence hall, now under construction, are part of a transformation of USM’s Portland campus.

The center aims to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. It will feature a two-story stone fireplace and an adjacent gathering space that will be called the “Double L Fireside Lounge.” The building also will house an expanded “Career & Employment Hub” which will help to connect USM graduates with jobs in Maine.

The building will use low-carbon technologies and green building materials, such as cross-laminated timber panels, a rooftop solar photovoltaic array tied to the electric grid, and energy-efficient building and site design.

The new scholarship will be known as the L.L. Bean Environmental Science Endowed Scholarship.

The gifts were announced Thursday during a topping-off ceremony for the residence hall, with the final structural beam lifted into place.

“This new building, with its green quad in the center, will make it easy for busy students to build outside time into their daily routines and experience the restorative power of nature just outside its door,” Shawn Gorman, executive chairman of L.L. Bean, said during the ceremony.

“The new center will become the campus crossroads for our diverse community, with an inviting outdoor space – the Bean Green – at the heart of it all,” USM President Glenn Cummings said.

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