SVSU to move forward with business college building addition

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The College of Business and Management is moving forward with plans to construct a 40,000-square-foot building addition to the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts near Curtiss Hall.

The plans were secured following approval for $9.8 million in state funding on July 14. The SVSU Foundation hopes to raise an additional $15 million in private donor support. College of Business and Management Dean Anthony Bowrin said the building expansion is estimated to cost roughly $16.9 million total.

“We are very confident that the private funding will be realized,” Bowrin said.

The college still needs construction authorization from Michigan’s government, but it hopes to secure that approval later this year.

The building addition is just one of two steps in the college’s project. It also plans to renovate existing College of Business and Management space on the third floor of Curtiss Hall, as well as certain classrooms in Curtiss Hall.

According to Bowrin, both parts of the project are targeted for completion in the 2019-2020 academic year.

“The decision to pursue this course of action came out of the college’s (2014-2015) strategic planning process,” Bowrin said. “This process involved (College of Business and Management) faculty, staff, students, alumni, advisory board members, and members of the business community.”

The new facility will feature a Bloomberg Trading Room, an innovation lab, a big data and cloud computer lab, a consumer behavior lab/observation room, a focus group lab, and additional space for collaboration with regional businesses.

“The business world is changing rapidly, and we must change with it,” President Donald Bachand told University Communications. “We have updated our curriculum; we have added a major in supply chain management and we are starting an online M.B.A. this fall, all to ensure our hard-working students receive the best possible academic preparation. This new facility will allow us to modernize classrooms and learning spaces to match 21st Century business realities.”

Assistant Professor of Accounting Betsy Pierce said she’s most excited about the Bloomberg Trading Room.

“I had the opportunity to use one at the University of Florida,” Pierce said. “This will not only be a boon for students, but an important research tool for faculty.”

Business management sophomore Nathan Franke is among the students who will be able to use the new facility, according to the project’s current timeline.

“I think the facility will provide great tools for students to develop their skills in business,” Franke said. “I’m most excited for the Bloomberg Trading Room because I’m looking into a finance major myself.”

A similar project was proposed last year but did not receive planning approval because Michigan had limited available funds.

“It was ranked very favorably and was supported by the Governor, but there were more schools with projects seeking capital funding than there were funds available for allocation,” Bowrin said. “Thankfully, (those) factors improved this year.”

Pierce said she’s excited for the opportunity to change up how she teaches, as the new building will offer more flexible learning spaces.

“I believe (the addition) will allow for more innovative teaching concepts,” Pierce said. “I use group projects and simulations.(The addition) will better allow my teams to work together in spaces that make sense [for their work]. I look forward to seeing the final concept proposals.”