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ROCHESTER, MI-Rochester College has broken ground on a $4.8 million, 25,000 sf science building on its Avon Road campus in Rochester.

The private Christian college said the new facility will benefit students with the creation of a degree program in elementary science education. A secondary science education program is soon to follow, officials say, and the college plans to develop a pre-med program. The new building will include, among other things, three new laboratories, a greenhouse and much needed storage space.

Along with the groundbreaking ceremony, the college is announcing the public phase of a $6 million capital improvement fund-raising campaign.

During the first part of the campaign, the college has seen roughly $4 million in support from a host of individual, foundation and corporate donors.

Bradley Irwin, spokesman for Rochester College, said the college is working on a broader appeal to raise the last $2 million to meet campaign goals.

In the last five years, about $8 million has been spent improving the facilities at Rochester. A new library/classroom building and two dorm facilities were included in the improvement work. On tap for the near future is a science lab building and, in the next five years, the college’s first intercollegiate-quality gymnasium.

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