New school of Business breaks ground
Ellis McGinley – Managing Editor
Madeline S. Scharf – News Editor
The university hosted an official groundbreaking ceremony for the new school of business Friday, Sept. 17, just outside Conn. Hall and within view of the construction site.
The event was attended by many, from faculty and alumni to business managers and politicians. They came to celebrate the School of Business’ continued progress and what it means for both the university and the greater business community.
University president Joe Bertolino kicked off the groundbreaking by giving a speech regarding the new school, discussing the important role business education will bring for both New Haven and the state at large.
“We will be creating innovative new partnerships with local businesses,” said Bertolino.“It is also a boon for Connecticut, as 85% of all Southern graduates stay and work in Connecticut.”
The building is the newest addition to recent developments within the School of Business.
“These are indeed exciting times for our business school, with new leadership, outstanding faculty and pending AACSB accreditation – a premier mark of quality that is held by only five percent of schools worldwide,” Bertolino said.
The AACSB, or Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, is an international nonprofit. They have accredited approximately 900 organizations thus far.
The School of Business also recently hired a new dean, Dr. Jennifer Robin, who began her career at the university in July. Bertolino also noted the individuals who aided in the funding and development of the building, including alum and sponsor Lindy Gold.
“Lindy Gold, president of the Amour Propre Fund, made significant gifts,” said Bertolino. “These donations will benefit students for generations to come.”
According to some sources, so far the construction process has been a long one.
David Martin, Chief Architect for the Division of Construction Services, said, “10s of thousands of hours will be eventually dedicated between the design and construction teams, it’s been two years into planning, fraught with risk in terms of maintaining budget.”
There is not yet an exact date for when the school will finish construction.
“This building is scheduled to be completed in early 2023. I understand there are construction folks here; if you’d like to move that along faster, you’re not going to have any objection, and my CFO is saying under budget,” Bertolino said in his opening speech, to some laughter from the audience.
“We have a 34-million-dollar construction budget on this job,” said Martin, “I am confident we will stay in budget.”
This comment was also met with laughter from some audience members. Todd Lukas, the project manager for the State of Connecticut, commented on the current state of the building.
“We are not tall yet, but we are getting there.” This stage of construction may not always be the easiest. “Getting out of the ground is about the hardest thing on any campus and so the things that we have encountered we have been able to take care of. We’ve actually gotten rid of some leftover asbestos that the campus didn’t remove and so only losing about ten days from the start is a phenomenal achievement,” said Lukas.
The new building will also be the first state-constructed facility with a net-zero carbon footprint. Lukas said “[students] should embrace the foreword momentum of green buildings. You are the only school in the state that I know of that is going to have one of these buildings.”