Montana State University will construct an $18-million College of Business building in the northeast section of its campus, university officials announced on Friday, April 13.
The building site is north of Wilson Hall, home of the university’s College of Letters and Science, east of one of the campus’ newest facilities, the Chemistry and Biochemistry Building built in 2006, and about 500 feet north of Montana Hall, the campus’ iconic administrative center.
Called “the north Wilson site” during public and campus meetings, the location was among three recommended to MSU President Waded Cruzado by a university board that spent weeks reviewing data on the sites and taking comment from students, faculty, staff and members of the public.
The other sites under consideration were immediately east of Hamilton Hall and in the southwest corner of the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Grant Street across south of the Strand Union Building. All three sites fit into the university’s 75-year master building plan.
Though three sites were recommended to Cruzado by the University Facilities Planning Board, the north Wilson site received the strongest approval from the 19-member board, with 16 voting to recommend it, two abstaining and one not present.
“The north Wilson site is a great extension of our core of academic buildings and it will fit well into our plans to have a pedestrian-friendly campus,” Cruzado said. “Additionally, nearly 1,400 students will live within one block of this building in neighboring residence halls.”
The north Wilson site had several advantages over the other two sites, offering more room than the Hamilton site and being more closely connected to the core of academic buildings on campus than the Seventh and Grant site, Cruzado said.
With the site selected, the university can proceed with architectural design and preconstruction planning for the building, however the 2013 Montana Legislature still needs to approve final construction. With legislative approval, ground could be broken in the spring of 2013 with completion in 2015. The new College of Business building will be roughly 45,000 square feet, three stories tall and a minimum of LEED silver certified.
The College of Business building is being funded by a generous $25 million gift from MSU alumnus Jake Jabs. A native of Lodge Grass and a 1952 graduate of Montana State College, Jabs is president and CEO of American Furniture Warehouse in Denver, one of the top retail furniture companies in the U.S. and one of the largest privately held businesses in Colorado, with sales topping $330 million in 2008 and 1,400 employees throughout Colorado.
Dick Anderson Construction, headquartered in Helena, Comma-Q Architecture of Bozeman and Hennebery Eddy Architects of Portland, Ore., have been selected at the project’s design and construction team.
With roughly 1,200 students, the MSU College of Business offers undergraduate programs in accounting, finance, management, and marketing, as well as minors in accounting, business administration, entrepreneurship and small business management, international business, and the management of information technology. The college also offers a master’s of professional accountancy degree designed to prepare student for professional careers in the field of accounting.