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$900,000 challenge motivates Daemen

Daemen College has gotten a big financial boost in its fundraising campaign for a new campus building.

The Kresge Foundation -- a national foundation intent on building stronger nonprofit organizations -- awarded Daemen $900,000 as a challenge grant, which means the college has to raise $3.6 million by January to receive the money.

Daemen is already more than 65 percent of the way to reaching its fundraising goal of $11.5 million.

"I am very confident we can do this," said Daemen President Martin J. Anisman. "I am looking forward to meeting this challenge set forth by the Kresge Foundation."

Daemen actually asked the foundation for $750,000, but the foundation was so impressed with the environmentally friendly design for the new Center for Information, Research and Community Programs that it increased its award to $900,000, Daemen officials said.

The center will include numerous "green" features to conserve energy, water and other resources, while serving as a signature building and campus hub.

The proposed 45,000-square-foot building -- which will be situated on a half-acre at the front of the campus near Main Street -- will replace Daemen's 1950s-era library and include wireless classrooms, academic support services, group study rooms and a place for students to socialize.

"I am very proud of this entire project," Caroline Hassett Burke, board of trustees chairwoman, said. "The groundbreaking is on schedule, and the facility will be up and running by the 2008 fall semester."

e-mail: jrey@buffnews.com

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