Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Huntsman Hall East, meet Huntsman Hall West
When we talk about our new building, Huntsman Hall, we are still at the stage where we are envisioning the possibilities. There are no bricks to kick or windows to open. And yet, did you know that there’s already a Huntsman Hall in place that is home to more than 4,000 business students?
The Jon M. Huntsman Hall, which cost $139.9 million to build in 2002, is at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The 324,000-square-foot building features 48 classrooms, 57 group-study rooms and two cafes.
Just like us, they put some thought into their building; in fact, they held more than 100 focus groups as they were deciding how to design their facility. Their careful planning shows. The iconic building is one that will prove functional and attractive to generations of students long after the faculty and staff who serve there now have retired.
We have something else in common with the Wharton School. Jon M. Huntsman, our namesake, is an alumnus of that school. In fact, when he came to Utah State University in 2007 to be recognized for his $26 million gift, he brought with him Thomas P. Gerrity, a former Wharton dean who spoke at the event. Since that day, when we changed our name to the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, we have paid several visits to Wharton, establishing a connection to that great school that continues today. In fact, in just a few days I will visit that school with our architects to see what we can learn from them about building our Huntsman Hall.
Even though the Huntsman Hall at the Wharton School is much larger than our Huntsman Hall will be, we look to it as an example of how to carefully plan and design a building that will best serve our students. Take a tour of the Huntsman Hall East, as I call it, and comment on this blog, telling me what you like about that facility and what you think we should adopt in Huntsman Hall West.