Ithaca College Quarterly 2005/1
South Hill Today


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Architects Chosen, Plan Unveiled

After viewing campuswide presentations by three finalists, the College has chosen the renowned New York City-based firm of Robert A. M. Stern Architects to design the new home for its School of Business. "Stern made an outstanding presentation to the campus community, and it was clear that their concept for our new School of Business building is in harmony with our vision for this important learning facility," says President Peggy R. Williams. "We are excited to be partnering with Stern to design a building that goes beyond environmental sustainability to set a global benchmark for higher education facilities."

As a sustainably designed facility, the new building will have lower operating and maintenance costs, incorporate a sense of community, promote interactive learning, and advance environmental stewardship by producing much of its own energy while minimizing the use of water and other natural resources. The $14 million building has a design goal to meet the highest level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards of the U.S. Green Building Council. At about 40,000 square feet, it will feature tiered classrooms, common spaces, a technology lab, a trading room, breakout rooms, and an atrium. The detailed design phase should take about a year, and the firm hopes for a summer 2006 groundbreaking and occupancy before the start of the 2008 fall semester.

"This building is intended to be a 'tool of teaching' in the fullest sense of sustainability, so that it will model economic, environmental, social, ethical, and human performance," says Susan West Engelkemeyer, dean of the business school. "Our vision is to create an exciting setting for values-based thinking and debate about the role of economics and business practices and their impact on the environment and society."

Stern's vision for this project integrates existing topography, features the College's hallmark fountains, and helps preserve the Cayuga Lake views from existing buildings. Innovative ideas under consideration include a south-facing atrium featuring a glazed double wall of glass with solar panels and skylights/windows with shading devices, a "green" (vegetated) roof, and a parking area for zero-emissions vehicles.

The College is now in the early stages of a comprehensive fundraising campaign, which includes the School of Business building project. About half of the project's budget has already been secured in the form of a $7 million personal gift from longtime Ithaca College supporter Dorothy Park. "Now that the preliminary drawings are available," says David Fleisher '91, who is a volunteer on the fundraising committee for the business school building, "and people can see the extraordinary facility being planned for our students, I expect many friends of the College -- perhaps especially business alumni -- will want to help make it a reality."

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