Several Clemson University faculty members say a new College of Business building has been 30 years in the making.
Now they have about two more years to wait.
Clemson administrators and faculty broke ground Friday on an $87 million, 176,000-square-foot building for the university’s College of Business across from Bowman Field. The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2020.
“I went to Clemson and later came back as a faculty member,” said Bobby McCormick, dean of the College of Business, during the groundbreaking event. “Along about 1985 or 1986, my dean stopped by my office with big smile on his face and told me he had just come from a conversation with the provost and the university was considering a new business school facility. Well, 30 years later, here we are.”
Aleda Roth, the Burlington Industries distinguished professor of supply chain management at Clemson, said “we have long dreamed for this day to come, and now that it has arrived, we are enthusiastically waiting to move in.”
LMN Architects of Seattle is designing the dual-tower, five-story structure in collaboration with the Greenville office of South Carolina-based LS3P, the architect of record, according to a news release.
The predominantly brick and glass towers will feature an open design with an atrium. The towers will be connected above ground by an outdoor stairway leading to a plaza and overlooking Bowman Field, and by an interior hallway on the building’s first floor. In addition to classrooms, the building will house faculty and staff support offices, the college’s various institutes and many shared learning spaces, the release said.
“It will be one of the largest buildings on campus,” McCormick said. “It is a symbol of the critical role that business plays not only in state economy but in the lives of people everywhere. Clemson means business like never before.”
Clemson President Jim Clements said the new building will offer a collaborative learning environment with state-of-the-art technology.
“It will be a hub for business education, entrepreneurship and economic development. Where our students, faculty and staff can collaborate with leaders in business and industry,” he said. “This building will help take our business program to the next level, which is consistent with our vision to make Clemson a perennial top-20 public research university.”
Roth said the building is more than just “brick and mortar,” calling it a gathering place that will be “alive and vibrant.”
“It will be a place we can prepare our business students as future leaders and entrepreneurs, regardless of their discipline,” she said. “We believe that this new gathering place will unleash the potential for conducting unparalleled research that is intended to solve today’s thorny business problems and societal challenges. We will make a difference. In turn, our innovative teaching and path-breaking research will continue to strengthen the competitiveness in our community, state and nation.”
Sirrine Hall, the business school’s current home, will become space for people transitioning to new locations on campus because of renovation or new construction.