Grant will help Bethel renovate 1925 science hall

Bethel College has received a $725,000 challenge grant to renovate the second-oldest building on campus.

Officials at the North Newton college said the grant would be used to remodel Old Science Hall, which was built in 1925 and is home for the mathematics faculty and classrooms, the campus computer labs and a few other offices.

When the building is reopened as the Academic Center, it will also serve as home to the departments of Bible and religion, business, history, nursing, social work and teacher education.

The addition of an elevator, atrium and accessible restrooms will add 11,475 square feet to the 27,240-square-foot building and bring it into compliance with the

Americans with Disabilities Act.

To receive the grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., Bethel College must raise an additional $921,424 by April 2011. College officials expect to begin construction shortly afterward.

Bethel has received five other Mabee Foundation challenge grants. The most recent, $550,000, was used for the sports stadium complex that was completed in 2005.