Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Groundbreaking for business building set for Oct. 27


New building workspace prototype created in Sirrine Hall

With the glass, bricks and mortar still in the architect’s rendering stage, the College of Business is moving forward with plans to break ground and assimilate occupancy of its new home, which will be constructed in the heart of Clemson University’s campus.

Groundbreaking is set for 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27, in front of the Alumni Center, north of Walter T. Cox Boulevard.

The college’s $87.5 million, 176,000 square foot building will nearly double Clemson University’s business education space and become the anchor of a new academic precinct that will one day occupy up to 600,000 to 700,000 square feet of building space.

“With the groundbreaking on the horizon, we want to ensure our new work and learning space is designed to meet our needs, and to prepare our people to use it in the best possible way,” said Bobby McCormick, dean of the College of Business. “To accomplish this, we have created a unique opportunity for our people to test and evaluate a prototype workspace on the first floor of Sirrine Hall.”

The simulated workspace, which is adjacent to the trading room on the first floor, consists of five offices and common spaces, including a 4-6 person conference room with Bluescape technology, an informal gathering space with soft seating, a telephone booth-style reading room, and a treadmill computer work room/station.

“We are looking for feedback on design and introducing our people to some of the potential new concepts for our new building,” McCormick added. “Unlike Sirrine, the new building will have specialized, highly efficient spaces for privacy, collaboration, reading and exercise. However, space restrictions in Sirrine did not allow for classrooms, team rooms or open spaces to be included in the prototype. It’s only a partial snapshot.”

McCormick said college departments will be assigned spaces within the prototype lab to experience and evaluate how each functions. Four of the lab’s five offices will be assigned to a department on a rotation basis, while the fifth will be the dean’s office, which is also available for use when he is traveling. Those assigned office space will be expected to perform their daily work functions as if it were their own office.

The workspace is meant to familiarize staff and faculty with several proposed features for the new building, including layout, furniture and utilization of space. Though some features, like windows, flooring and lighting, won’t likely be replicated in the new building, McCormick said it should provide a snapshot of some design elements, and an opportunity to perform job functions in an environment very different from their current space.

“These are exciting times for business education at Clemson and I am encouraging faculty and staff to seize on this opportunity to make a difference in what will affect generations of students,” McCormick said. “It’s a chance to impact teaching, service and scholarship for many years to come.”

Public parking for the groundbreaking will be available in lot E6. Check the college website in the coming weeks for more parking and event information.

In the weeks leading up to, and in preparation for the groundbreaking, several trees at the construction site will need to be harvested. The university has enlisted professionals to carefully remove these trees and prepare the wood for use in furniture and other items in the new business building or other facilities on campus. Clemson forestry students and students from other disciplines will be given the opportunity to learn from this urban forestry project by participating in repurposing the wood and by planting new trees to replace those lost due to the new building’s placement.

Construction of the building is expected to be completed for a January 2020 move-in.

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