New business facility being built

By Paul Biasco

Potential Business students touring the University campus are catching a glimpse of the construction on the Business Instructional Facility located on the corner of Fifth Street and Gregory Drive, which will be ready for the class of 2012 in the fall.

“When students come to campus to see the College of Business, a brand new building along with Wohlers Hall is going to be very attractive to the students,” said Tina Howard, assistant dean of development for the College of Business.

The purpose of the project is to provide state-of-the-art instructional facilities for students, said Tracy McCabe, assistant dean for external and alumni affairs. The new building will feature 18 state-of-the-art classrooms, study areas for students, 24 interview rooms for recruiters and students to use, an accountancy center, a market trading lab and a 300-seat auditorium.

“The recruiting rooms will be used by major corporations looking to hire our students,” Howard said.

Another innovative part of the new facility will be the market trading lab.

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The lab will have running ticker tapes, trading simulation and trading floor simulation, all of which will give students a hands-on experience with the markets. The 300-seat auditorium will be used to host many guest speakers for the College of Business, McCabe said.

The University has jumped out into the forefront of green design with the design and construction of its new Business Instructional Facility at the corner of Sixth Street and Gregory Drive. The building was designed by Cesar Pelle, University of Illinois alumnus and former dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

The building is on pace to be completed for the fall semester of 2008. The 160,000-square-foot building will be the University’s first environmentally friendly building and only the third in the state of Illinois, said Cliff Carey, the project manager for the building.

The University’s strategic plan for 2006-2011 states that the University hopes to “construct, renovate, and operate all campus buildings and sites following sustainable practice guidelines to have a significant positive effect on public health and environment.”

Some of the design features in place to accomplish sustainable design include: segments of plant life of the roof which help filter rainwater and slow the discharge of rain, a sloped roof on the auditorium fitted with solar panels and a unique heating and air-conditioning system that will discharge from the floor rather than ducts in order to allow the air to mix more comfortably, said Carey.

“I am really excited about the new building, I haven’t heard much yet, but from what I have heard, I can’t wait to take some classes in there next year,” said Daniel Klein, sophomore in Business.

The building will not only benefit the environment but will boost the reputation of the business school, especially the MBA program, Howard said.