Today: May 29, 2024

New School of Business expectations for 2012

photo courtesy | Carol Kaliff, New Times
Ellen D. Durnin, Ph.D. Dean, School of Business


The new School of Business is preparing to move into its new campus home, the former student center, in the fall of 2012. The $4.6 million construction plan, according to James
Blake, executive vice president of Finance and Administration, is on time, within budget and faculty and staff of the Business School can be expected to move into their new home by the summer of 2012.
“It is going to be an excellent building and will have a huge impact on the faculty and business students. It will give them the chance to interrelate with area corporations, business and have a space they can be proud of,” said Blake. “It’s exciting.”
This move has been long awaited said School of Business Dean, Ellen D. Durnin. The School of Business will be moving out of their current home in Seabury Hall, which has been slated to be demolished for the last decade because of its poor conditions. Durnin, who came in as Dean in 2010, realized it was one of the first things she needed to focus her attention on.
“It is long awaited and I think everyone is excited about the process,” she said.
According to Durnin, Seabury Hall does not fit the criteria for what a business school needs. The building is not wireless and there is no meeting space to involve and invite the surrounding business community. It’s a four-story building with no elevator and no access for students with physical disabilities. Black mold grows on the inside walls and when it rains heavily it rains down the inside walls. The final straw for Durnin was when a beam from a doorway fell and hit her administrative assistant in the head.

photo courtesy |
The proposed design for the School of Buisness

“I think it will give the School of Business the appropriate home. The old building is not where we would like to be and this will give the students and faculty a 21st-century home,” said Durnin. “We want to actively engage with the business community andthis can be a place where we can do that. We didn’t have that option before.”
The process for the construction was a long one, according to Robert Sheeley, associate vice president for Capital Budgeting and Facilities Operations. Two bonds were authorized that made up the total amount; the first was approved over three years ago, but the second was delayed due to the state’s position of approving only projects that had to do with health and safety.
Interim President Stanley Battle made it a priority, according to Sheeley, to get the second $3.8 million bond authorization and approved to bid on the project. The construction will
only be done on the front half of the old student center building until further funding is available, according to Sheeley.
“There are discussions taking place at this time regarding the renovation to the back of the building, but nothing is definite at this time. Funding will be an issue and only time will tell what happens to the back of the building,” he said.
For now the 20,000 square foot renovation will include a wireless network, student lounge areas and an elevator for accessibility. The main floor will have two classrooms and seminar
rooms with a folding wall to have it as two small spaces or as one large conference space, multipurpose space, finance training room that will look like a real stock exchange and a business student resource center where students can go to find out about internships,
jobs and other services they may need.  Temporary Building 8 will continue to house classrooms, as there will only be two additional classrooms built in the new building.
“The address of the school is 501 Crescent St. so this is really the official entrance to the campus and when this building is in place this is going to be very attractive in welcoming those to the campus, it will upgrade our look,” said Durnin.

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