WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons was in Wilmington this morning with several hundred Bank of America employees to thank the company for strengthening its commitment to Delaware with two major announcements: the donation of a 282,000-square-foot building for use by local schools and the decision to bring 500 jobs to Delaware.

“This building is a gift,” Senator Coons said at an event announcing the news Thursday morning. “It is a gift from the people of Bank of America who have made it possible, to the people of Delaware, the children, and the organizations that will bring this building to a new life in the years ahead.”

Bank of America is donating one of four buildings it owns in Wilmington to a new non-profit organization to be operated by the Longwood Foundation. The new organization, Community Education Building, will use the space to enhance existing Delaware schools and house new schools that need a facility to operate. It is expected to house up to 2,000 students.

Separately, Bank of America announced it was bringing 500 jobs to Delaware over the next three years.

“Delaware’s high-quality workforce and its strong support for the business community is why companies like Bank of America continue to invest in Delaware,” Senator Coons said. “It’s a great move for the company, and great news for our state.”

Low-quality but full audio of the event can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/yoiyGJ. Senator Coons’ remarks begin at 7:30.

Photos from the event are being uploaded here: http://flickr.com/photos/senatorchriscoons