WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Kresge Foundation of Troy, Michigan, has awarded Whitman College a $500,000 challenge grant to help the college raise the funds needed to conclude the renovation and expansion of the college&#146s original science complex, by September 2003. The foundation will pay the grant when Whitman College achieves its fundraising goal.

The $7-million renovation on the older complex began this fall, just as construction on the college's new $13 million, 35,000-square-foot science building was completed. The new structure connects to the existing complex, where the current renovation encompasses 65,000 square feet. The entire project is slated for completion by August of 2003.

The resulting complex "will make science come alive," said chemistry professor Chuck Templeton, faculty liaison for the project.

"This construction-and-renovation project will make it possible for our science faculty to further improve our already strong programs in the sciences," said President Tom Cronin."There can now be an even greater focus on research collaboration between faculty and students."

The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation created by the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge. It is not affiliated with any corporation or organization. In 2001, the foundation reviewed 643 proposals and awarded grants of $111,467,000 to 165 charitable organizations in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and England. As of September of this year, the foundation had awarded 127 grants for a total of $80,851,000. Grants are made to institutions operating in the areas of higher education, health and long-term care, arts and humanities, human services, science and the environment and public affairs.