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The Colby College campus is often described as one of the prettiest in the nation, but right now it boasts sweeping views of mud, construction equipment and gravel piles as groundwork continues for a $50-million campus expansion over the next 10 years. The building program, designed around a proposed Colby Green, reaches a milestone on Saturday, April 17, with groundbreaking for an alumni and development center, the first new building in the Colby Green district. Located directly across the road from Miller Library, the building will provide space for alumni gatherings and will relieve crowding in academic and administrative offices elsewhere on campus.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be at 11:45 a.m. Saturday at the building site. In the event of inclement weather the ceremony will move to the Pugh Center in Cotter Union.

The groundbreaking signifies the beginning of construction in a campus expansion that will see an additional 14 acres of Colby’s 714-acre campus developed for new facilities. New buildings will include the alumni center and three academic buildings: a social science and interdisciplinary studies building (the Diamond Building) slated for construction beginning next year; a building for math, computer science and psychology departments; and a music and performance center.

The $7.5-million (including an endowment for renewal) alumni center will be built of traditional Colby brick and wood, and the building’s public rooms will offer a view of the academic quadrangle and the library tower. Colby’s alumni body and programs have grown since 1965, when the Class of 1940 donated the Millett Alumni House, at the south entrance to the campus, and now Millett House is too small to accommodate modern alumni events.

The new alumni center will offer space in the heart of the campus for formal and informal alumni gatherings, for campus events during the school year and for development, alumni relations and communications offices. The new offices will permit a series of office moves that will alleviate crowding of administrative and faculty offices. Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2005.