Now that Arizona State University’s business college has $50 million for its programs and faculty, the college is ready to embark on its next project: A campaign to raise money for a new building.
Within the next month, the fund-raising campaign is expected to begin for a new brick-and-mortar complex for the W.P. Carey School of Business, which will be built on the 5-acre site of the Tempe Center shopping complex at Mill Avenue and University Drive.
ASU President Michael Crow said the goal is to raise $35 million in the Valley business community, which will be matched by the university to create a new $70 million complex. The business school hopes to have the complex completed within three to five years.
Last week the university announced that New York City real estate investment banker William P. Carey had agreed to donate $50 million to the business school to recruit new faculty and upgrade programs. But the gift doesn’t include funds for buildings or construction. Thus the college is launching a separate campaign to raise money to create a new complex for the school.
At a speech Thursday to the Economic Club of Phoenix, Crow said the new building, along with Carey’s naming gift, gives the university a chance to develop a world-renowned business school.
"We have an Americanclass business school right now, in the top 30," he told the representatives of the business community. "We are trying to build a world-class business school. . . . We need robust facilities, we need an expanded faculty, we need partnerships and alliances and we need a lot more money."
The school intends to create a new building of 300,000 to 325,000 square feet — close to one-third larger than the existing two-building business complex on the Tempe campus, said Anne Nguyen, assistant dean for finance and facilities. Because of a shortage of space, several groups such as the William Seidman Research Institute, Executive Education Department and MBA online program are located off-site, she said. Also the new building would create more office space for doctoral students and their research.
"Our goal is to be housed all together in the new facilities," she said. "Even with two buildings, it creates some barriers to a sense of community."
Also the new building will be designed with better classroom space, she said.
Parts of the existing complex date back to the 1950s and have classroom configurations that don’t lend themselves to modern projectors and other modern teaching techniques, she said.
Crow said the new building will incorporate the latest technology, allowing students to interact with colleagues around the world.
He hopes to begin construction as soon as the $35 million is raised — perhaps within a year. Construction would take another two years after that, he said.
Once the move is completed, the existing business buildings would be assigned to other units of the university that need added space, Crow said.
Nguyen said the college hopes to hire an architect in the spring.
With a high-profile location at University and Mill, dean Larry Penley said the school hopes to create a building that provides a symbolic connection between the downtown Tempe business community and the ASU academic community.
"It is so appropriate to have the business school on that corner," he said. "As a business school, we must straddle that divide."
He added the school needs "a structure that is functional . . . but also has wonderful aesthetic qualities that make for great architecture."