The Gevirtz Graduate School of Education recently received a $500,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation to spark further fundraising for a new facility on campus.

The new GGSE building will house the school and its clinical outreach programs, a press release said. The facility will feature academic and research centers, ‘smart’ classrooms and a learning garden. Additionally, the new GGSE is designed to have a fourth-floor balcony and patio, a lobby, a bell tower and an atrium.

The Koegel Autism Center, the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Center, the Hosford Counseling and Psychological Services Clinic and the Psychology Assessment Center are all slated to receive expanded, modernized spaces within the new GGSE building as well.

According to the press release, under the terms of the challenge grant the GGSE is required to fundraise $1.7 million from private contributors by Sept. 2009. The $1.7 million will be put toward the projected $7 million finalized cost of the project.

“We are very grateful to the Kresge Foundation for their confidence in our mission to make a difference in the lives of Californians,” said Jane Close Conoley, dean of the GGSE, in a statement. “This challenge grant enhances our fund-raising efforts to create a home for our marvelous programs.”

The GGSE is currently celebrating “100 years of preparing educators,” according to the press release. The Kresge Foundation, a non-profit organization, was established in 1924. Since then, the organization has contributed to the erection of many libraries, community centers, schools, hospitals, museums, food banks and other community centers.