July 13, 2017 -- A view of the Wyeth home on Benner Island, across a channel from Allen Island. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

WATERVILLE, Maine— Officials with Colby College said Thursday the school has taken over stewardship of two islands off the coast of Maine.

Colby officials said the Waterville college now owns Allen Island and Benner Island. They said the school acquired the islands from Up East Foundation and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.

The college said in a statement that it has taken over the islands as part of an initiative “to preserve these extraordinary areas and continue to utilize them as centers for learning, research, and creative inspiration.”

It said the islands will allow Colby to create an island campus and expand academic programs and activities such as climate change research.

The islands are located off St. George in the state’s mid-coast region.

A Colby spokesperson said the school paid $2 million for the islands, which are valued at more than $10 million. The rest was contributed as an in-kind gift by the foundations, the spokesperson said.