The modernization of Schwab Hall has begun. It will become the home for the School of Business, providing a contemporary learning environment for its students.
In its current state, the building is just over 50 percent finished. The project is still expected to be finished for classes this coming fall.
Dr. Eric Ecklund, Assistant Professor of Management and Faculty Liaison for the Schwab Hall renovations, provided a tour of Schwab Hall in its current state.
The outer walls of the original Schwab building remain the same. What has changed are the inner structures and the addition behind the building.
Café Gubbio will be moving from the back of Francis Hall to the renovated basement of Schwab Hall, where it will be known as “Adamucci’s Café,” in honor of one of the donors who helped to finance the building.
The bottom floor will also hold a much larger seating area than Café Gubbio’s, a set of bathrooms, an elevator that can reach all the floors from basement to third, a computer lab, and two classrooms, one with 30 seats and one with 34.
The computer will hold nine dual-monitor workstations and two 50-inch monitors for students to use. According to Ecklund, this will allow students “to do some serious number crunching” with statistics and do multitasking on the large screens.
Going from the basement to the third floor, there will be a circle cut into the center of all the floors. “We wanted [the basement] to feel like a part of the building, not like a basement,” Ecklund said.
The first floor holds the main lobby area, which will have a 60-inch TV, along with two smaller TVs showing announcements and donors of the building.
A stock ticker on the first floor will show prices and welcome visitors to the School of Business.
To one side of the first floor, there will be a 60-seat classroom and a 38-seat classroom. On the other side of the first floor will be a reception area for the Dean of the School of Business, along with other administration associated with the School.
The second floor will house more faculty offices, 36- and 38-seat classrooms, a conference room that can hold up to 18 people, and a student projects room.
The student projects room is for “student groups to work together,” Ecklund said. There will be areas for students to plug in computers, and whiteboards on the wall for students to work.
The third floor holds a 36-seat classroom, another conference room, more faculty offices, a kitchenette for faculty, and a multi-purpose room.
The multi-purpose area will have large glass window spanning the entire room. Students will be able to see all of Loretto from the window.
What makes this building unique and modern is the technology going into it. Not only will there be a stock ticker on the first floor and the multitasking computer lab in the basement, there will be Lecture Capture in all the classrooms, allowing professors to record lectures and upload them for students to view.
“One thing I will be doing is capturing lectures in a face-to-face course and using those lectures to build online courses around,” Ecklund said, “although this is not to replace the face-to-face interactions.”
With this new building, the School of Business will be able to compete with much larger business programs at other universities.
Dr. Randy Frye, Dean of the School of Business, said that the building will “hopefully attract students and faculty” and “enhance the identity of the school.”
The construction of the building is projected to be completed in July. According to the master plan, furniture will then be installed in preparation for classes at the end of August.
A dedication ceremony for the building is scheduled for Friday, September 16, 2016.
When asked how Charles Schwab, the famous industrialist and the man to whom the building is dedicated, would think of the building, Frye said, “[Schwab] would marvel at the progress” of the building and the campus as a whole.
The School of Business is hoping to reach out to some of the Schwab Family to attend the dedication of the building.