Clarkson University, Potsdam. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

POTSDAM — Among 35 private higher education institutions across the state, Clarkson University has been awarded millions in capital project funding for its “Science Center Turns 50” project.

Through the state’s fourth round of the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program, Clarkson will receive $5 million, tied for the highest award amount with Fordham University, Manhattan College and St. John’s University.

The HECap funds were approved during a March 12 meeting of the program’s board and total $57.2 million to support new construction, instructional technology, athletic facility renovations, health sciences training programs and several other projects.

HECap is administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, or DASNY, and requires colleges and universities to invest at least $3 of their own funds for every $1 of state funds.

Clarkson’s “Science Center Turns 50” project was launched in 2019 with design work, though public details remain slim. University officials did not respond to requests for information as of the time of this report.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Cora and Bayard Clarkson Science Center’s opening, the project has previously been described by the university as an expansion and renovation. Three alumni — Karel Czanderna, ’77, Dan Shirkey, ’80, and David Walsh, ’67 — made “transformative leadership gifts” to kickstart the effort.

“Clarkson’s Science Center has been a central part of student academic careers for 50 years, and these generous contributions will ensure that faculty, staff, students and alumni will have a state-of-the-art home for the transformational education that Clarkson provides, for years to come,” President Anthony G. Collins said of the alumni donations in 2019.

With alumni, the Science Center Turns 50 Presidential Circle is led by university Trustee Bayard D. Clarkson Sr., the center’s namesake with his mother Cora.

“The Science Center means so much to me and my family,” he said in 2019. “I am honored to co-chair and found the Science Center Turns 50 Presidential Circle so we can update and renovate this building to continue to give students the best education possible.”

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