Five months after receiving the highest-ever donation to the University from alum Stephen Ross, the Business School that now carries his name announced its plans for a $145 million renovation.
The University Board of Regents approved a proposal for the business school to renovate its facilities yesterday. Plans include new classroom space designed to fit the school’s participation-based curriculum and a student commons. In addition to renovation to existing facilities, plans will most likely include demolition, as well as new construction.
A definite timeline has not yet been established, but work may begin as early as the summer of 2006, Business School Dean Robert Dolan said.
Of the $145 million price tag, $75 million will come from Ross’s $100 million donation to the business school last fall. The other $25 million from Ross’s donation will be placed in the Business School’s general fund.
The school hopes to raise another $40 million before construction begins and to raise the remaining $30 million during the process. Dolan expects that most of that money will come from alumni of the Business School, and the rest will come from corporate donations.
The renovations were needed, Dolan said, because of business education’s shift from lecture-style classes to a format that involves discussion, teamwork and advanced technology.
New 85-seat, U-shaped classrooms will be designed to encourage participation from students. Some will include separate rooms, attached to the main seating area, that can be used for the types of interactive group work that the Business School is known for.
“Classes often need to break into small teams and (then) come back together as a class,” Business School spokesperson Cynthia Shaw said. “The classrooms arrangements right now don’t really support that.”
Business School junior Diana Bejasa said many of her classes operate under that format and that the new rooms would be helpful.
“It’s really annoying when you’re doing group work and you hear other groups talking,” she said.
The student commons may include a lounge area and caf