Marquette University plans to build a new $70 million home for its College of Business Administration and innovation leadership programs at the former site of McCormick Hall, president Michael Lovell announced Wednesday. The new academic building is planned near the corner of North 16th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, where the former dormitory stood until it was razed in the fall. Lovell made the announcement during his annual presidential address. The university has raised $44 million for the project over the past 18 months, he said. It is being funded primarily through donations of alumni, parents and other supporters. Marquette plans to break ground in fall 2021. A design process involving faculty, staff and students will begin soon and help determine the building's square footage and the number of floors, a university spokesperson said. It’s the latest of several new building projects on the university’s campus in recent years, including a new $18.5 million Physician’s Assistant Studies Building, a $24 million Athletic and Human Performance Research Center and an $108 million residence hall on the northwest end of campus. A new business school has been in the works for several years, and was included in the university’s Campus Master Plan in 2016. The business school has been housed in Straz Hall, located at 1225 W. Wisconsin Ave., for the past 35 years. “Marquette Business has a long history of developing ethical, Jesuit-educated leaders who live and work in Milwaukee and the top financial hubs across the world,” Lovell said. “Through innovative design features and flexible learning spaces, our newest academic facility will help foster creative thinking for students from all disciplines.” In addition to the College of Business Administration, the facility will house innovation leadership programs, which will build on Marquette's existing efforts, such as the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship in the 707 Hub, the Women’s Innovation Network, the Athletic and Human Performance Research Center and several colleges, the university said. [gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" size="large" ids="496471,496470,496469,496466"] The new building is expected to provide wrap-around advising and career guidance, a new multi-functional special event space where executives and recruiters can meet and interact with students, and upgraded labs and classrooms, including a pitch stage where business students will share their ideas with industry, investors and the larger community, the university said. “Marquette Business is home to three of the university’s top 10 undergraduate majors, reflecting the growing demand for business leaders in our region,” said Joe Daniels, College of Business Administration Keyes Dean. “Our curriculum is infused with experiential learning opportunities, which is what our students and employers demand. This new facility will mirror our collaborative applied learning style and position us as a convener of important conversations on the future of business in our region.” Lovell also announced during his presidential address that the university will conduct a space optimization study to determine how to maximize and manage its 60 campus buildings. Every unit on campus will be asked to generate and implement cost-saving ideas, the university said. The university will identify potential future uses for Straz Hall as part of that process, a university spokesperson said.
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