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Canisius gets $500,000 donation Gift to help build new science center

Canisius College has received another large donation to help expand its campus and build a new science center.

The James H. Cummings Foundation gave Canisius $500,000 to help renovate the four-story HealthNow building, next to the campus at Main Street and Jefferson Avenue, into classrooms, offices and laboratories for the college's science programs.

The foundation -- which will pay the grant over three years -- was happy to support the project, said William L. Joyce, foundation executive director.

"The interdisciplinary science center is a great investment in the education of future doctors, scientists and educators in our region," Joyce said in a prepared statement. "It is also a great investment in the central corridor of Buffalo."

The foundation was formed in 1962 with funds from the estate of Cummings, a pharmaceutical manufacturer with operations in Buffalo, New York and Toronto.

In May, M&T Bank also awarded Canisius a half-million-dollar grant for the science building, matching dollar for dollar -- up to $500,000 -- the amount of money the college receives in pledges.

The college has raised more than one-third of the $47 million needed for the project. As HealthNow employees move into their new building downtown, Canisius plans to acquire the building and adjoining parking garage at 1901 Main St. by the end of this year.

Canisius will begin using the parking pavilion immediately, but it will take some time to finish planning, designing and raising money to convert the building into a science center, said John J. Hurley, executive vice president and vice president for college relations at Canisius.

"Probably the likely scenario is it would be mothballed for a period of time," Hurley said of the Main Street building.


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