WU officially announces plans for new business school buildings
Washington University officially announced its plan to bulldoze Eliot Hall and begin construction on two new buildings to hold the John M. Olin School of Business School’s graduate program this summer.
The buildings will house several classrooms, about 75 faculty offices and numerous lounge-style spaces for students to interact with each other.
Construction on the buildings is scheduled to begin in June, after construction on McMillan Hall is finished, and end in December 2013—pending sufficient fund raising efforts.
While plans for the project are still in development, two donations totaling $25 million are leading the ongoing effort to fund the construction. The project is slated to cost about $90 million, according to the University Record.
The gifts, donated in October 2010 and announced last month, were $15 million from Charles and Joanne Knight and $10 million from George and Carol Bauer.
The donations allowed the University to begin drafting plans—though the process is not yet complete and is contingent on a successful campaign by Alumni & Development Programs.
“Fundraising is off to a good start but will intensify over the next month or so as architectural plans are completed,” Executive Vice Chancellor David Blasingame said. “So far, this year is off to a good start, but it is too early to project how we will end up.”
Charles Knight, who spent 27 years as CEO of Emerson, a global technology company, was a member of the University’s board of trustees from 1977 to 1990. Both he and his wife have received honorary doctorate degrees from the University and the Charles F. Knight Center was named after him in 2001.
George Bauer attended Washington University as both an undergraduate and graduate student before working for IBM for 31 years and founding an investment-banking firm. He currently serves on the board of trustees.
Although the actual construction is not to begin until next summer, the Department of Facilities Planning & Management is beginning work on the project at the end of the month.
In an email to all business school students, Director of Facilities and Operations Tim Rogan announced that the school will be demolishing part of the Throop Garage across from the Knight Center starting Dec. 22 to make room for Tarlton Construction’s field trailer. The garage will be closed periodically from then through Jan. 13.
Students voiced in favor of Facilities’ choice in timing.
“I think it’s good that they’re getting the work done over break so most of the students won’t need to access the garage,” senior Christina Correa said. “I don’t think it should be a big inconvenience for many students, [and] I’m personally not affected by the construction.”
Dean of the John M. Olin School of Business Mahendra Gupta could not be reached for comment, but he described the importance of the school’s expansion in a press release on Nov. 18.
“In our planning, we realized that significant new resources and spaces were needed if we were going to continue our trajectory as a business education leader and accommodate more top-flight faculty, more talented students, more programs for business-involved applied learning and more interdisciplinary collaborations,” the release said. “With these transformative gifts, the Knights and the Bauers are making an investment in Olin’s future and, more importantly, in the futures of innumerable students, teachers, researchers and business leaders.”