November 24, 2004
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.-The Trustees of the George I. Alden Trust have awarded a $150,000 grant to Amherst College toward the construction of a new geology building. The award also will generate additional support for the new building through a challenge fund previously established by Amherst's Board of Trustees to help finance the college's Residential Master Plan.

As part of the Residential Master Plan, Charles Pratt Hall, former home of the Amherst College geology program and the natural history museum, will be converted to a dormitory in 2007. This pending renovation offers a welcome opportunity for the college to provide modern facilities in a new academic building that will become an important focal point for the geosciences and the study of environmental science on campus.
Ground was broken for the new geology building in June 2004, and the building is scheduled for completion in January 2006. The building will comprise 55,800 gross square feet and will provide state-of-the-art teaching laboratories to support innovative pedagogy. About two thirds of the four-story building will be devoted to academic space, and the remainder will house Amherst's respected natural history museum.

The George I. Alden Trust, located in Worcester, Mass., was founded in 1912. Its grantmaking program supports higher education and academic innovation primarily in the northeastern part of the United States.