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MSU chooses site for new College of Business building

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MSU News Service

BOZEMAN – 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 and across the street from 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 $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
as 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 students for professional careers in
the field of accounting.

Megan Paulson is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Outlaw Partners.

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