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Building addition accomodates growth

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 13:03


CONSTRUCTION NEAR THE BUSINESS BUILDING continues as campus officials raise funds. CURTIS RIPPLINGER photo



The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business is adding a new building to help with the increase in business students. The building will be built next to the George S. Eccles Business Building as soon as the funds are acquired. 

The George S. Eccles Business Building has endured the wear-and-tear of students for 38 years, so a new building is definitely needed, according to Dean Douglas D. Anderson. 

George S. Eccles has been the name of the USU’s business building since it was built in 1970. Because of Eccles’ generosity, the building has become a focal point for students on USU campus.

The building is expanding to meet the needs of the growing Huntsman School. Enrollment of Huntsman business students on campus has grown from 1,141 students in the fall of 2006 to 1,415 students in the spring of 2012. 

This is almost 30 percent growth on campus over the last six years, according to Ken Snyder, executive dean and chief administrative officer for the Huntsman School of Business.

“This building wasn’t meant to hold this many students,” Snyder said. “We have more students than we are able to deal with in this building.”

The state of Utah gave USU $14 million, one-third of the total funds for the building’s initial projected cost of $30 million. The other two-thirds is to be funded by donors, according to Snyder.

“We identified our needs and realized we needed a lot more money for our building,” Snyder said.

The new projected cost for the whole project is $42 million. Snyder said in one of their construction meetings, someone coined the phrase “go big or go home” in reference to the size of the building. 

“Let’s build the right building that will last 15 to 20 years,” Snyder said.  

According to the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business blog, the terrace on top of the new Huntsman building was taken out of the architectural plans. However, it was put back into the plans because of its popularity amongst donors, Snyder said.

“It’s the perfect place to have a club barbeque or a faculty get-together,” Snyder said. “I see a lot of different uses for it. It’s a great space and the donors love it.”

Despite the features of the terrace, Snyder said he looking forward to a different building feature.

“What am I most excited about in the new business building? Teaching in those new classrooms,” he said.

The classrooms will be made with three tiers, rounded seating patterns, two aisles, swivel chairs and a lot of open space. Sound baffles will be added to the ceiling and walls to act as a sound killer between rooms while at the same time amplifying the teachers voice, Snyder said. 

“There will be twenty new classrooms,” said Jeffrey Parker, business senator for the Huntsman School of Business. “This is going to do incredible things for students.”

The new classrooms will be ideal for case methodology teaching, Snyder said.

“The best way to teach business is through experiential learning,” Snyder said. “The second best way to learn is to study other people’s experiences. That is called case methodology.”

The build and dynamics of these classrooms is to make the space very open to provide dynamic discussion capabilities. Students will discuss the pros and cons of different real life business situations. This is very important so students can make smart decisions once they are employed in their professions, according to Snyder.

“It’s never black and white,” Snyder said. “Is there a one right price for a product? No. Most business decisions are in the gray area.”

A lot of time and effort has been put into the current model of the new Huntsman building, according to the Jon M. Huntsman Business blog.

“The architects presented us with tons and tons of different ideas,” Snyder said. “They actually made 40 to 50 different concepts and made each of them into models to look at.”

The concepts and designs for this building have been thought out and edited multiple times. The new building’s design ensures natural light is maximized on every floor. The final model has everything the business department wanted, Parker said. 

“We all just gravitated to the same model and were like, ‘Yeah, that’s the one.’ Everyone loved it,” Snyder said. “It was unanimous with everyone from the business school that was there and all the faculty that were there.”

The space in the new building was strategically thought out through an architectural process called programming, according to Snyder.

Programming is when all the different spaces and their functions in the existing building are listed and then the projected needs over the next 15 to 20 years are mapped out. The existing space is then allotted for and all the extra rooms needed are then made into the new Huntsman building, Snyder said. 

Mr. Huntsman has directly influenced a lot of the new building’s design, Parker said.  

“He was very adamant there will be plenty of private spaces for students to meet together and learn from each other,” Parker said. “He felt that students working together on educational projects is critical for their future.”



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