Stephen M. Ross School of Business students, faculty and staff got their first glimpse of the school’s new $145-million new home yesterday afternoon.
The school opened up a small section of the building, which included a student lounge, two conference areas and a meditation room.
Much of the funding for the new building comes from a $100 million donation from Real Estate Developer and Business School Alum Stephen M. Ross in 2004. The gift, of which $75 million was used in the construction project, is the largest in University history and is the largest ever given to a business school in the United States.
Since the spring of 2006, when the school’s old building was torn down to make room for the new facility, Business school faculty and students have been using classroom space in Mason Hall and other building around campus.
Classes in the new building are slated to begin next semester.
The 270,000-square-foot building will include twelve classrooms with stadium seating, an auditorium, faculty offices, offices for advisers and tutors, a fitness center, space for team based learning projects and a food court.
Major construction is scheduled to finish by the end of October. The following month, the building’s technology will be installed and furniture will be moved in and assembled. Faculty are expected to move in mid-December, with classes starting the first week of January.
Paul Gediman, the Business School’s director of marketing communications, said the building’s design will help facilitate the school’s educational philosophy.
“In general, the building is designed and constructed to support the school’s action-based learning approach,” Gediman said, explaining that this kind of learning involves students working in group settings.
Several business students interviewed yesterday said they were eager for the construction to finish and for the new building to open.
Business School senior Elise Hutchinson said she was looking forward to having all her business classes in the same place.During construction, some Business School classes have been relocated to Mason Hall.
Business junior Amanda Burriola said she admires the new building’s look and design.
“I’m looking forward to going in and getting a feel for it,” Burriola said. “It’s a building that really stands out on campus.”
She said she was most excited to see the Davidson Winter Garden and the Colloquium.
The winter garden is a three-story common area in the center of the building that will be surrounded by classrooms, faculty offices. The Colloquium will be a conference room on the sixth floor with panoramic views of campus that will be used for special events.
In addition to practical and functional considerations, the building was also designed with environmental sustainability in mind. The Ross School of Business was ranked number two in social and environmental stewardship by a 2007 study “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” by the Aspen Institute.
Gediman said the building will feature two green roofs that will collect and filter rainfall.
The building will also feature many other energy efficient technologies such as high-efficiency lighting, low-flush toilets, a non-ozone depleting refrigeration system to cool the building and occupancy sensors to regulate heat levels in faculty offices.
Additionally, 94 percent of demolition debris and 50 percent of construction debris have been recycled.
Business School junior Kyle Wagner said he’s happy the school made an effort to go green when constructing the new building.
“I’m glad that Michigan is going along with that, trying to be as green as possible,” Wagner said.