For the first time in 30 years, the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University will open a new building on the Tempe campus this summer.
The business school, which now houses about 10,000 students, has essentially doubled in size in the last decade, said Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the business school.
“To be blunt, we should have built this 12 years ago,” Mittelstaedt said.
McCord Hall, a 15-month construction project, is slightly ahead of schedule and on budget for a June completion date, he said. Classes in the building are expected to begin in the fall.
“A lot of people have asked if this gives us room for expansion, but we’ve already outgrown the buildings we have,” he said. “We’re holding classes around campuses. This should free up classrooms to other programs.”
So as the walls begin to be painted and the façade receives the finishing touches on the 129,000 square foot, four-storied building this month, the MBA program and Business Honors program will soon move into a modern and technologically enhanced facility.
“It will be primarily for graduate students,” Mittelstaedt said. “The W.P. Carey Honors program will be housed there and some of the honors classes, as well.”
In addition to the increase of students, the way business is taught has also changed, Mittelstaedt said. Many of today’s business classes are taught in amphitheater, horseshoe-shaped rooms that can allow lecture and small group discussion. Other classes are in small, breakout sessions with groups of six to eight students.
McCord will feature more of the types of classrooms that compliment business education, Mittelstaedt said. More than the now-typical WiFi Internet and projection technology in classrooms, there will also be display screens for breakout session students to use with their own computers.
“But it goes beyond classrooms and breakout rooms,” he said.
The career management center will move to McCord, Mittelstaedt said. Moreover, it will feature newer, better interview rooms, a recruiter’s lounge and student lockers and changing rooms.
“Students don’t come to class every day in a suit,” he explained.
Lockers and changing rooms will make it easier for business students to change into business-style dress for presentations, he said.
The change to the area south of the Memorial Union is noticeable, not only by the addition of McCord Hall, but also by the changes to the Dean’s Patio.
“There’s going to be even more, nice patio space,” Mittelstaedt said.
The patio, which will more than double in size, will benefit not only business students, but Tempe students as well for additional group meetings and study areas, he said.
ASU’s business school is only 50 years old, Mittelstaedt said. In the 1970s, the school moved into its first building, eventually building another in the early 1980s.
Much of the funds for McCord Hall came from donations. McCord Hall is named for philanthropist Sharon Dupont McCord and her late husband, Bob McCord. Other major donors include Avnet, Inc., ON Semiconductor and DPR Construction.
“There was a lot of strong student support,” he said.
With the consent of business students, an additional student fee is also helping to build McCord Hall.
The improvements to the facilities mean that the school can attract the type of students that match the quality of the business program, Mittelstaedt said.
“There’s the competitive aspect of attracting students with modern facilities,” he said.
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