New business building will break ground this spring

Straz+Hall+will+begin+renovations+once+the+new+business+building+is+complete%0A%0AMarquette+Wire+stock+photo

Straz Hall will begin renovations once the new business building is complete Marquette Wire stock photo

After its announcement in the spring semester of 2020, the plans for a new business building will finally enter its groundbreaking phase in a ceremony this spring.

The 60 million dollar project will be the new home of Marquette Business, taking the place of where McCormick Hall formerly stood, across from the Alumni Memorial Union.

All $60 million raised for the building came from donations from over 250 people, making it the largest donor-funded project in university history.

“We’ve been talking about the potential of a new College of Business (Administration) building for at least the last 15 to 20 years,” Tim Hanley, interim dean of the College of Business Administration, said. “We’re just thrilled that the time is now.”

The new 100,000 square foot building will include an event space, that can also act as a classroom, on the first floor that will be able to host speakers. At the same time there are plans for a career and student center where clients can interview and hire students and even a café facing the northeast side of the building.

“(The café) is going to be a feature I think will make it special,” Hanley said.

While the building will be a new and fresh place for students in the College of Business Administration, Hanley said that other students, like those in the College of Engineering, will be able to collaborate in a program called “Exec Excellence in Leadership.”

Hanley said the new program that will be hosted in the new building was founded by Kris Ropella, the Dean of the College of Engineering. The program will allow for students in the College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering to collaborate on projects that require a combination of the two fields.

“One feature that I think is really neat, thanks to donor generosity, is on the North side of the building … we’re going to have a huge gallery. It will be all glass and a wonderful reception area,” Hanley said. “When we don’t have events, it will be a beautiful area for student seating (and) group study.”

Hanley said throughout the planning process, there was a plan to create a space where students and faculty “want to be.”

But even though the new home of Marquette Business will no longer be Straz Hall. Hanley said the old building will be renovated, and will become the new home for the College of Nursing.

“It’s quite, quite exciting,” Hanley said. “As soon as we’re out of our space … a process will begin to renovate what’s now Straz Hall into the new College of Nursing home.”

But something Hanley said “had to give you goosebumps” was the day the fundraising goal was met. It was on Feb. 11, one year exactly after Joe Daniels had passed away.  

“We have got to give tremendous tribute to Joe Daniels,” Hanley said. “We don’t talk much about this project without Joe because Joe got this project started. This was Joe’s vision.”

Some students remain divided on the issue of the new building. Some students are upset with the new building saying that it’s unnecessary and isn’t good for the environment since Marquette has a lack of green space already.

Matthew Munson, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said he was not looking forward to the building taking up the previous green space, where he and his friends would enjoy the outside on the grass.

“As someone who has been inside of Straz Hall multiple times, the classrooms are completely fine,” Munson said. “It’s just Marquette’s way of getting new students to come and be donors.”

Sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, Kyle Laird, said he was looking forward to the brand new building.

“I definitely will be having classes in there (as an Economics Student),” Laird said. “It’s really exciting the way I see it … I’m all for it to be completely honest.”

The new building is expected to be completed by Christmas of 2022. Following the completion of the building, renovations for Straz Hall will then begin.

This story was written by Benjamin Wells. He can be reached at benjamin.wells@marquette.edu or @beananan on Twitter.