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April 11, 2024

Thomas College awarded $1M grant to boost science education, build lab

College campus Photo Courtesy / Thomas College Thomas College in Waterville is a career-focused private college with over 600 undergraduate students.

Thomas College has been awarded a $1 million grant to boost science education, an effort that will include the creation of a new chemistry lab on the Waterville school's campus.

The new chemistry lab will include a new lab prep area and student work and research spaces. The college said the expanded space will allow it to increase the number of students enrolled in lab-based courses each semester and the number of students graduating with degrees that align with Maine's workforce needs.

The grant will also focus on increasing the number of individuals earning post-secondary work credentials, including low-income students. 

A spokeswoman for Thomas College told Mainebiz that it will cost $1.1 million to build and equip the new lab and reconfigure adjacent space. Detailed planning with faculty to finalize the design began in January, and the lab is expected to open in September, she said. All renovations are being designed and undertaken in-house.

Rendering / Courtesy, Thomas College
The planned chemistry laboratory at Thomas College will include a new prep area and student work and research spaces.

The grant was awarded through the Maine Department of Education for “Chemistry Connects."

“These new lab spaces will benefit students, especially in areas such as Criminal Justice, Environmental Science, and Education,” said Provost Thomas Edwards. “We are investing in providing our students with the science and technology skills that they — and Maine — need.”

Thomas College is a career-focused private college founded in 1864. It offers programs in the arts and sciences, business and education. 

Among the largest colleges and universities in Maine, Thomas College was ranked No. 17 in the 2024 Mainebiz Book of Lists, based on a full-time undergraduate enrollment of 688 in fall 2023.

-Renee Cordes contributed to this article.

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