A Gerdin Business Building Retrospective
by Mike Parsons, Building Project Manager
Gerdin Business Building Goes Off to College
Not that long ago the idea of a new building for the College of Business was not perceived of as a possibility. Some people considered an addition to Carver Hall instead to consolidate the College of Business’ faculty, staff, and student needs. An Iowa businessperson was asked to be a guest speaker. Fortunately, the guest speaker was scheduled in a lower level Carver classroom. After the lecture, the speaker saw first hand the need and opportunity for a new facility and that speaker was Russ Gerdin. Russ and Ann Gerdin’s lead gift in 1998 made it possible for the new building project to move forward.
The Board of Regents approved the project and began the planning and architect selection in July 1999. Architectural firm Zimmer Gunsul Frasca from Seattle, led by ISU alumnus Dan Huberty and Alan Davis, designed the new facility. Miron Construction Company was awarded the building contract in November 2001. Completion of the building and College occupation of the building occurred in December 2003 and opened for students at the start of ’04 spring semester.
During the summer of ’01 the Honors Program was relocated and Osborn Cottage gave its life to make way for campus expansion. Campus Services helped salvage timber from the site to construct benches that now grace the new halls. Look for the walnut benches near the elevator on first, second, and third floor. A bit of our past history lives on.
The site selected for the new facility offered great long term benefits and several short term challenges. As part of the project, several main campus utilities and a steam tunnels were relocated (during the winter). The urban campus setting provided a challenge to the contractor to deliver material safely to the project while avoiding disruption the daily University activities. Another challenge was the goal to keep existing oak trees close to the new building alive. Time would decide if this goal was achieved.
All departments of the College of Business, as well as the state offices of the Iowa Small Business Development Center, are housed in the 4-story 111,000 square foot building. The new Gerdin Business Building includes fifteen teaching spaces, computer labs, departmental offices, student services, team rooms, and a 300-seat auditorium. The third floor accommodates faculty offices and a seminar room. A new career services center in the building eliminates the need for job seeking business graduates to interview in the Jack Trice Stadium sky box.
The building also features a Business Café, open to the public in the comfortable Kelley and Joan Bergstrom Commons. The Cafe’s menu includes pastries, desserts, sandwiches, fruit, salads, and beverages. The Café is operated by ISU Dining and will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thank you to each of the many Facilities Planning and Management employees who helped make the planning, design and construction of the Gerdin Business Building a success.
Contributed by Mike Parsons 01.13.2004