New SBPM building planned

GW plans to house the School of Business and Public Management in its own new building. The school will be the third to receive a new building within a four-year span if GW meets a planned completion date of 2004.

A new School of Media and Public Affairs building opened last January, and a new Elliott School of International Affairs is currently under construction.

Hoping to break ground this spring, the University plans to build a state-of-the-art SBPM in the existing parking lot between Madison and Funger halls.

A part of GW’s 10-year campus plan, plans are set for completion in 2004. The school must first gain zoning approval from the city, a process that can take a long time, said Susan M. Phillips, SBPM dean and professor of finance. The University has set an October target date for approval.

Originally estimated at $30 million, the actual cost of the project will more likely be closer to $45 million, Phillips said.

The business school is currently housed in the Hall of Government and Monroe Hall. Built in 1937, the adjacent buildings no longer have the capacity to accommodate the needs of the growing school.

“The current building just doesn’t accommodate massive growth,” Phillips said. “There are student services we could not accommodate at our current level in order to be a strong business school.”

The new facility will connect to Funger Hall, which will undergo renovations on the third through sixth floors, to become part of the business school. Funger Hall currently houses Columbian College classes, which will move to the Hall of Government and Monroe Hall.

The new building will have 120,000 square feet of new classroom and office space. The parking garage that will be built underneath of the SBPM building will contain 100 parking spaces, an increase of 30 spaces from the current lot.

Phillips said there are three main objectives of building a new business school:

o bring SBPM together under one roof with integrated programs

o alleviate frustration of the current “inconsistent and makeshift” equipment and space.

o give students more space to work

“Students have to sit in the hallway now for teamwork exercises; it breaks my heart,” Phillips said.

Important features of the new school include a Capital Markets Room, designed for exercises in stocks and trading for the entire GW community. It will replace the trading lab that now exists in the Hall of Government.

Team rooms will enable students in all business classes to have a forum for meeting, discussing and practicing their semester presentations on problem solving and research.

“It replicates what happens in the real world,” Phillips said.

Other amenities include seminar rooms, tiered classrooms, auditoriums, computer labs and student lounges.

“It will be a great asset to the University to have SBPM provide good facilities to the whole student body,” Phillips said. “We will be able to accommodate a broader spectrum of students.”

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