Robin Glynn – General Assignment Reporter –
As a new semester begins, many at the School of Business are looking forward to their first time in Southern’s new, energy-efficient home.
The building holds offices for faculty as well as three classrooms, and also includes a trading room with a real-time stock market ticker, which students will use to gain practical experience about the stock market.
“We are excited to be here,” said Ellen Durnin, Dean of the School of Business, about its move to the old student center.
The Business department has seen growth; seven new faculty members have been hired and the school’s offerings have been expanded to accommodate its 1,300 students.
“You can see how excited everyone iws to be here,” said Southern Economics Professor, Sam Andoh.
The move, which occurred in July, did not effect any students or many faculty.
“Most faculty was not here,” said Andoh. “The semester had ended. It did not effect anything the school does.”
The new School of Business holds the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, a silver certificate for being energy efficient. The building has powered shades, which lower with the sun to save energy in the building, and recycled bicycle racks.
“Some professors ride bikes to work. We have showers in the basement for them,” said Durnin. “A number of technologies were used to get the silver certificate.”
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification is aimed at helping to not only save energy and water use, but indoor environmental quality as well.
“The building exemplifies the growth of the school of business,” said Sean Kiley, a Business Administration major. “Southern’s Business program is growing every year, and upgrading our building definitely shows the school’s enthusiasm to make the school of business better.”
Kiley says he believes the new and improved work environment will give students more one-on-one time with their professors.
“I have been in the new school of business and it is beautiful,” he says. “It is a better work environment than the Seabury building…”
But construction on the School of Business is far from being complete, with renovations planned for the future.
“Our plan is to expand the business school using the back of the old student center,” said Durnin.
The reconstruction of the back of the old Student Center, which is known as the Student Center Annex, will cost $4.5 million. The School of Business has already received a $2 million grant and is working with area businesses and alumni to raise the rest of the funding, with naming opportunities available.
Durnin said that the Student Center Annex would be used for more classrooms.
“The only problem with that is the back of the old student center is still in use,” said Kiley. “The old student center houses storage for facilities operations, offices for librarians, Chartwells sometimes uses the space back there, and last it holds Southern’s art gallery that was transferred from the old library. So to renovate that space, you will first need to find space for everything, and with the limited space at Southern it will be sometime before the old student center will be able to be renovated to expand the new school of business.”
As the School of Business continues to grow, along with plans of continuing to expand the school , Durnin believes the school is a family.
“We believe students of the school of business as a home,” said Durnin. “We want to bring students together.”