New School of Business to be built

Jessica GuerrucciManaging Editor

The Health and Human Services Building has officially broken ground — but it will not be the only new construction at Southern in the next few years. A new School of Business is to come next.

“It’s going to be 60,000 square feet,” said director of External Relations for the School of Business Susan Rapini. “So, if you take this existing building it’s about two-and-ahalf times the size of the existing building.”

The current School of Business, which is 23,000 square feet, now houses two classrooms for its 1,168 undergraduate and graduate students, according to the SCSU School of Business 2018- 2019 Annual Report.

Bob Sheeley, associate vice president for Capital Budgeting and Facilities Operations, said the current School of Business was part of the old student center and renovated to house classrooms and offices.

However, as the business school grows, Rapini said the current building is too small. The issue of lack of space is one that Rapini said can hopefully be remedied by the construction of what Sheeley said will be a $33 million new School of Business building.

The new School of Business will be constructed after the tearing down of Temporary Building Six, Sheeley said, as the plan for the building is to be placed on the corner of Wintergreen and Farnham Avenue.

“It’s a prominent place,” said Sheeley, “and we want the School of Business to be in a prominent area. It’s just a good place for it.”

The new building will be in what Rapini said is “the heart of campus” and will be bringing together a group of students that are currently spread out.

“Classes are held in Buley Library, they are held in Engleman, they’re held in the temporary building,” said Rapini, “so from my opinion, it’s very fragmented and it’s hard for the School of Business students to get that sense of community and belonging to the actual school.”

However, Joe Amarante, graduate assistant for the Master of Business Administration program, said even though business students are spread across campus, the sense of community is not hindered by the building size.

“It’s not like it’s the building that’s causing no sense of community or anything,” said Amarante. “I think there is a sense of community. It is just what we need is the bigger building to further support that community.”

The bigger space will not just improve the sense of community amongst students. Younjun Kim, associate professor of economics and finance, said it will also improve the relationships between students and their professors and the relationships between professors.

“If our building had more classrooms then more courses could be taught in this building and then students may have more interaction with faculty members and students can easily visit office hours right after class,” said Kim.

The first out of four floors of the new building, according to Rapini, will have a community center and will feature two 75 and 120 seat auditoriums. As they are still in the design phase, she said the building committee is focusing currently on the physical space and will later decide how the building will be broken up.

“The biggest benefit is that we’re really going to be able to bring the business community in and engage them,” said Rapini, “and just have a much better relationship with them for student success.”

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