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Business school expansion to open 2015

staff writer

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2013 01:12

huntsman construction

Nick Carpenter photo

A crane looms over the construction for the new addition to the business building, which is due to open doors in fall 2015.

Huntsman Hall, projected to open fall 2015, will provide much-needed space for current Aggies and students to come.

Despite some setbacks in getting permit approvals, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business would like to meet the 2015 deadline, according to Joe Beck, architect for USU facilities.

We took advantage of the summer weather as much as we could, but because the permits were not ready yet, we were not allowed to pour concrete until they were,” Beck said. “This makes it appear to be delayed, but actually we tried to get a jump on things, and were not able to in the end.”

The old building, still in use, was dedicated in 1970 — 43 years ago.

“Enrollment has grown tremendously in 43 years,” said Dave Patel, assistant dean of external affairs for the Huntsman School of Business. “There hasn’t been enough room in decades.”

There will be 21 new classrooms and 21 new meeting rooms in the new building, with the smallest classroom’s capacity at 50 and the largest room’s capacity at 80, Patel said.

What those from the business school are the most proud of are the 21 meeting rooms, Patel said. There are so many team projects and there isn’t space for them to work. With the new building, there will be real space for collaborating.

“Between the two buildings, most classes will be business classes, so students don’t have to traipse across campus,” Patel said.

The building is partially funded by USU’s facilities and construction management departments and the business school, Beck said.

“The money from both these entities is to pay for the entire structure as well as some audio/visual, furniture, IT, as well as remodels to the existing building that are required because of the new connections being made between the two buildings,” Beck said.

The official contract for the building is $42 million, Patel said. Utah taxpayers are paying $14 million, and the rest is had to be fundraised for the 117,000 square-foot building.

“My guess is that it will end up costing more than $42 million,” Patel said.

The first gift to the building was from Jon and Karen Huntsman who donated $6.5 million. The second gift was from Jeff and Bonnie Clark, donating $6 million. The Huntsmans and the Clarks are the two biggest donors to the buildings, though there have been smaller gifts of $1 million or $2 million, Patel said.

Patel said donations are the result of relationships over time with 27,000 known business alumni. They keep in touch with these alumni through the magazines the business school puts out and the website.

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