MATT DEL BUSTO | STAFF REPORTER
Butler University will build a new business building north of Irwin Library, between the new student housing and the Mall.
Stephen Standifird, dean of the College of Business, said the plan is for students to begin taking classes in it by the fall of 2019.
The college has increased from 600 students to more than 1,000 students in the last five years.
“To say that it is a top project for us would be an understatement,” Standifird said. “I genuinely believe there is probably nothing we can do that would be more impactful in terms of advancing the College of Business than the new business school space.”
Daniel King, a sophomore business student, has most of his business classes in Jordan Hall. In his three semesters at Butler, he only had two business classes in Holcomb.
He said it would be very beneficial to have those classrooms in a different, new building.
“COB people are all over the place,” he said. “I’ve had COB classes in Jordan. I’ve had one in the Pharmacy (and Health Sciences) Building. There’s a business class in Fairbanks. It’s all over the place. Just to have us like in a central location, I think it’d be a good thing to do.”
Rich Michal, the executive director of facilities, said the new business building is in conjunction with the new science building that will also be built in the next few years.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunities especially given its location right there at the main entry,” he said. “It’s adjacent to Irwin and the new housing and the Mall. I think that’s just going to be a really exciting location.”
Both Michal and Standifird said there is a possibility that Irwin and the new business building will be physically connected.
Standifird said it is important to recognize that the new COB building is part of a larger overall university plan. He said he is excited about it both as a business school project and as a university project.
“A big part of making this a successful project is to create a space where the business community feels welcomed because if we’re going to do a really excellent job of enhancing our experiential offerings, we have got to do a good job connecting the business community,” Standifird said. “So our goal is to make the building a space where you almost can’t tell where the business community stops and the College of Business begins.”
Michal said he is concerned about the campus’s tolerance for the disruptions associated with continued construction on major projects, but he looks forward to addressing the new business and science buildings in the upcoming years.