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WELLESLEY

Bond helps Wellesley College expand science center

Wellesley College is upgrading and expanding its science center with the help of state financing. MassDevelopment last March issued a $96.5 million bond to support the construction project that is being undertaken by the private liberal arts college for women.

The $215 million project, which began in June and is due to be completed in 2021, involves renovating the existing campus science center, and expanding it to include a separate new building that will be constructed on the nearby site of the former Sage Hall.

The bond was sold through a public offering underwritten by Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch/Bank of America.

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When the project is complete, the expanded science center will also house additional laboratory, classroom, and office spaces as well as new teaching and research greenhouses.

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The college is also using bond proceeds for other capital projects, such as the renovation of residence halls, purchase and installation of equipment for its co-generation plant; renovation of a health and counseling building; and the installation of an elevator in a historic building on campus.

A small portion of the bond proceeds will be used by the college to refinance previously issued debt.

Founded in 1875, Wellesley serves 2,400 undergraduate students on its 500-acre campus.

“The new science center will reinforce Wellesley’s position as a leader in STEM education for women, providing our students with a uniquely inspiring learning environment,” Piper Orton, the college’s vice president for finance and administration, said in a statement.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.