In a little more than two years, the John Chambers College of Business and Economics will write the next chapter in business education in its new home, transforming West Virginia University’s campus, the community of Morgantown and the student experience.
At nearly 180,000-square-feet, Reynolds Hall — named for alumnus and financier Robert Reynolds and his wife, Laura, who made this building possible with a generous $10 million gift — will more than double the space that the Chambers College has in its current building.
Beginning today (Sept. 9), the College kicks off its campaign, Building Beyond, which has to date raised more than $26 million of the $40 million needed in private support to ensure that WVU has a first-class facility for business education and research. The total project cost is estimated at $100 million.
“What started as a conversation about the vision for future of business at WVU several years ago has grown into a reality, and it’s incredible to see it come together,” Reynolds said. “Laura and I are proud to be a part of a facility that will transform WVU, Morgantown’s waterfront, and most importantly, the business learning experience for future generations of Mountaineers.”
A native of Clarksburg and a 1974 finance graduate of the College of Business and Economics, Reynolds is president and CEO of three multinational companies: Putnam Investments, Great-West Financial and Great-West Lifeco U.S., Inc.
Situated on the site of the former Stansbury Hall, the new building will greatly change the landscape of the Monongahela River waterfront. Demolition of Stansbury has already begun and is anticipated to be complete by mid-October, at which time phase one will begin with the mass excavation of the site and construction of tbe building’s foundations. The new Reynolds Hall is scheduled to be open in 2022.
“What an exciting time for the Chambers College and WVU,” said B.J. Davisson, WVU Foundation executive vice president and chief development officer. “We are partnering with the College in this major fundraising effort, and firmly believe our alumni and friends will step up to help build this state-of-the-art business complex that not only will transform the student learning experience but the Morgantown riverfront area as well.”
Representing an integration of a start-up culture and entrepreneurial mindset, Reynolds Hall will transform the business landscape of the University, the state and beyond and will showcase an intersection of technology, innovation and state-of-the-art programming.
“When you walk into our new building, we want you to see business at work,” said Javier Reyes, Milan Puskar Dean of The Chambers College and vice president for Start-up West Virginia. “Reynolds Hall will be more than just a building – it will be a collaborative, creative space that will catalyze innovation for our students and transform their learning through experiential opportunities.”
“The tremendous resources and programming that will be available in the new space will give them the tools that they need to foster academic success and solve the problems of the future,” Reyes said.
In addition to three computer labs, eight innovative classrooms, 175 faculty and staff offices and a 300-seat auditorium, Reynolds Hall will feature collaborative, creative space that will drive innovation for students and transform their learning through experiential opportunities.
The Academic Student Success Center and an Experiential Learning Pavilion will replicate a modern professional business environment. Other features include innovation, outreach and research centers in areas such as global supply chain management, hospitality and entrepreneurship.
“The construction of the Reynolds Hall complex is a prime example of WVU’s commitment to creating a world-class academic experience for our students,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed said. “This facility will help to inspire innovation and collaboration across campus and the community and will be a destination for the next generation of business leaders.”
But the new Reynolds Hall will be more than a place to foster future business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs; it is a space that will incorporate the entire Morgantown community. It will help to revitalize the Waterfront, featuring a café/dining area, a park/green space, a recreation center and integration to the community rail trail — all of which will be open to the public.