Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

New business building receives construction industry recognition


The new home to business education in the heart of Clemson University’s campus has received accolades from a leading construction industry publication as being the best higher-education building project in the Southeast.

The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business’ five-story, 176,000-square-foot building, which opened last spring, has doubled the space business education had in Sirrine Hall. The award-winning recognition bestowed by Engineering News-Record Southeast is a testament to the collaborative teamwork between DPR, the general contractor, and University officials, according to the project’s director.

“DPR has done a number of big projects on the Clemson campus and I would argue this was the best coordinated and most sustainable of all of them to date,” said Bryan McCaffrey, DPR project director. “The teamwork between our two organizations has made a statement at the front door of Clemson’s campus that honors tradition, while at the same time developing a building that will inspire future leaders, faculty, alumni and industry partners.”

The building, designed by LS3P in partnership with LMN Architects, has resulted in a state-of-the-art think tank environment for the College’s growing student population, which now exceeds 5,000 in enrollment. Situated across from historic Bowman Field, the two-tower structure creates a new center of campus with room for future expansion.

The $87.5-million project features collaborative space for students and educators alike while facilitating an enhanced interface between academics and industry, according to Paul Borick, building project manager for University Facilities.

View of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business atrium.

“This state-of-the-art facility is designed to create one large collision space, open seating areas and team rooms to facilitate the interaction between students and faculty,” Borick said. “From the ground up, this building is meant to further Clemson’s mission and reinforce the College’s motto that ‘Clemson Powers Business.’ ”

Meg Bishop, director of operations for the business school and Dean Wendy York’s lead college representative on the construction project, said the award validates the building’s many attributes, especially its cutting-edge features.

“The University and its construction partners have created a spacious and efficient learning environment that will help Clemson attract the best and brightest students. This building will become the launching pad for the next generation of business leaders,” she said. “Everything in the building is physically, mechanically and electronically cutting-edge, which will transform the way we teach business education.”

Others on the University team who played key roles in the project included: James Barker, Clemson University president emeritus; Allen Wood, trustee emeritus; Gerald Vander Mey, director, University Planning & Design; Bobby McCormick, former business school dean; and Harry Harritos, associate professor emeritus of Architecture.

Engineering News-Record Southeast reported that more than 95 projects were submitted for recognition.

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