USD unveils plans for new School of Business

USD unveils plans for new School of Business University of South Dakota School of Business Dean Jerry Johnson officially announced plans to build a $12.8 million School of Business on the Vermillion campus during the recent annual Business Awards Banquet at the Coyote Student Center on the USD campus.

Architect Charles Rose of Thompson and Rose Architects, Inc., Cambridge, MA, unveiled plans, a 3-D model and artwork of the proposed building.

"Thompson and Rose were selected in a national design competition that involved proposals by four respected architectural firms and an independent jury from around the country, as well as USD faculty and staff," Johnson said. "We are excited and pleased with the preliminary drawings we have had the opportunity to review."

Johnson said recognizing of the need for a new business facility came in the form of a $1,700,000 lead construction gift as part of an overall $8,800,000 bequest to USD from the late Walter H. Buhler, a 1960 graduate of the business school, for whom the building will be named. The total cost of the new USD, School of Business home is $12,800,000, which will be funded entirely by private gifts because no state funds are anticipated.

"Graduates of the USD School of Business, one of the most widely recognized programs at The University of South Dakota, have made their mark around the globe since its founding in 1927," Johnson said. "It is the only business program in South Dakota accredited by the American Association of Colleges and Schools of Business."

Housed in the 40-year-old Patterson Hall, the school has long outgrown its intended size with several times its planned student enrollment and faculty. In addition to housing the undergraduate program, Patterson Hall is the home of graduate and professional programs and a number of important research outreach centers. These centers have been created over the years to make full use of the expertise of the faculty in solving state and regional business and public policy problems. Among these centers are the Business Research Bureau, Small Business Development Center, Freeman Initiative for Rural Enterpreneurship, The Family Business Initiative, and the South Dakota Council on Economic Education. These undergraduate and graduate programs and research centers must share space in an overcrowded facility.

Not only has the program outgrown its facility, but also the building is clearly outdated for training the high-tech business professionals of the future.

After several years of considering a possible remodeling and expansion, the university determined that the best plan for the future would be construction of a new building just south of the law school, creating a new quadrangle bound on the west by the telecommunications (new armory) building. The university can construct a totally new "signature" building on a cost-effective basis compared to the cost of renovating and expanding Patterson Hall. It is estimated that a new building would cost approximately four percent more than updating Patterson.

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