A rendering of the building that Husson University hopes to build starting in 2020 to house its business college.

Bangor Savings Bank’s foundation will donate $500,000 to Husson University over the next five years to help the school construct a new, $17.2 million building for its business college.

The donation is part of a longer-term partnership in which the school has also helped the bank’s employees take courses and receive degrees through a customized program.

“We see this as an investment in the future of Maine’s workforce and the university’s commitment to that workforce,” said Husson University President and CEO Robert Clark, referring to the donation for the new building.

He expects the school to break ground on the project in spring 2020, with a goal of opening it by fall of 2021. The new building will house the university’s business college, which has seen its enrollment grow more than 30 percent in the last five years.

The Alfond Foundation has also pledged to provide up to $4 million in matching funds for the project.

[Husson gets $4 million pledge to help add building to campus]

At the same time, Husson University is also continuing its efforts to help Bangor Savings Bank staff receive college credits, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Bangor Savings Bank is increasing the number of college courses each year for which it will reimburse employees, and Husson works with the bank’s employees to help them transfer credits toward degrees.

Husson University also recently developed a customized master’s of business administration degree for bank employees, which led to 24 of the workers earning degrees last year.

Husson University has also partnered with other businesses and organizations with a Maine presence to help their employees pursue college classes, including The Jackson Laboratory, the construction company Cianbro, the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce and insurance providers MEMIC and Unum.

“This is certainly one of the hallmarks of our education, to be practical and focused on student development and success,” Clark said.