During a ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place yesterday, 300 attendees explored the new 45,000-square foot addition to the Chester H. Ferguson Hall of the College of Business at USF.
“This is indeed a very proud day in the history of USF and the Business College,” said Dean of Business Administration Robert Anderson. “Today we dedicate the first new construction to the college in almost 30 years.”
Constructed in 1979, the old Ferguson Hall had recently become inadequate in meeting the needs of all the College’s thousands of students, Anderson said.
Aside from being too cramped, the older building had difficulties in the past with water leakage.
Referring to an incident from his managerial accounting class during the summer of ’99, USF graduate Corey Meyer recalled a day in which inclement weather interrupted his class. It was pouring, and after a while the students, including Meyer, began to notice rainwater seeping into the classroom. They continued class until the accumulated water flowed across the floor of the classroom to where the professor was teaching, motivating the professor to cancel class for the day.
The new, hopefully leak-proof building has been under construction since December 2003.
The new addition differentiates itself from the original building with an overall increase in the amount of natural light, a feature that the older, underground facility lacked with its absence of windows.
The new structure will be able to accommodate the College’s ever-increasing student body, with eight new classrooms, an enhanced state-of-the-art auditorium and an overall increase in the amount of common areas where students can “mix and mingle” indoors, Anderson said.
“This is a huge building,” said student body President Bijal Chhadva. “It goes all the way to Alumni Drive, and we always complain about how we don’t have enough classroom space, so this (addition) will alleviate that problem.”
Students can enjoy surround sound in the new auditorium, accompanied by two visual screens at the front of the auditorium, Anderson said.
Another positive aspect is that the new addition came at no financial cost to USF.
“It was completely donated,” Chhadva said. “And we really appreciate the support from our alumni and our donors.”
According to a USF press release, these private donors and alumni raised 10 million dollars to finance the new addition, beginning with a 2.1 million-dollar donation from longtime supporter Leacy Quinn.
On a larger scope, this addition will emphasize the importance of USF’s College of Business in comparison with other universities.
The new face of the College will help others realize USF’s goal to become one of the top-ten public business schools in the Southeast, Anderson said.
Students can look forward to attending class inside the new addition within the next few weeks.
“We are going to try to get students inside in about two weeks,” Anderson said. Citing the ambiguity of the exact move-in date, Anderson acknowledged that the building contractors had not yet released the building to the College, since there are still a few housekeeping items being considered.