Business School Addition

February 26, 2002

James Kennedy, <i>Hullabaloo</i> assistant news editor

Construction continues on the addition to the A. B. Freeman School of Business, slated to be completed by Summer 2003. While the new facilities will cost between $21 and $26 million -- over three times as much as the current business school cost -- it will provide many state-of-the-art resources for Business School students, such as a virtual trading room where they will be able to trade stocks and a distance learning room that will allow students at Tulane campuses throughout the world to listen in on lectures.

The space added by the new building will double the size of the present business school; the current facility is running at 129 percent capacity, though it was intended to handle 80 percent. Because of this size issue, the school has been forced to rent out classrooms in Diboll Hall, which are expensive and do not give foreign exchange students a feeling of inclusion.

According to Jerry Hagebusch, Associate Dean of the Business School, "They are our students and they want to be in the building."

Much of the activity taking place over the last few months involves infrastructure improvements such as rerouting utilities, including power, steamed and chilled water and sewage. The next step will be to pile drive, or place poles that are 35 to 40 feet long and as wide as telephone poles in the ground with a large hammer. This will not be started until the summer because of the noise pollution caused by the device.

This policy will be continued throughout construction, as stated by Henry Fry, director of campus planning, "In sensitive times, such as during finals, we will go through a silent mode."

As soon as the poles are in place, the concrete for the foundation will be poured. The site for the business school was selected after careful studies. One investigation wanted to expand the present business school building and add two wings to the sides of it and more to the top. However, planners decided upon a separate L-shaped building in order to effectively use the space next to the Business School.

According to Fry, "[The] building has an L shape, which will give it a presence on McAlister Drive." The overall school will be furnished with technology aimed at providing students with a superior education. Each seat in the classrooms will be equipped with an electrical outlet to plug in laptops and a jack, if the student chooses not to use the school's wireless Internet capabilities.

Instead of having to have their office hours outside, teachers will now have offices on the mezzanine level of the building to provide students easier access to instructors. There will be two screens in each classroom so that the teacher can project something on one while writing on the other. Also, the screens will be set so that the professor can either print out what he writes and distribute it to the class or post it on his or her website.

The training room is among the unique features of the Business School addition. It will have ticker tape surrounding the room so students can continually see stock prices. Three of the walls will be glass. World clocks will surround the room. Teachers can load different software so a variety of simulations of different projects are possible. The architecture firm that built McWilliams Hall, Waggonner and Ball, secured the contract for the business school addition.

It is a local firm located just a few blocks outside of campus. Hagebusch said that the decision to hire this firm rested on the fact that, "They're looking at the quality in terms of construction." He, along with Waggonner and Ball, toured 12 to 13 business schools in the northeast, including Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, Stern at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School to get an idea of construction options and improvements that could be made to the building. Classes are set to begin in the spring 2004 semester.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000