Campus Life

UWF College of Business breaks ground on new facility

The University of West Florida broke ground on an iconic new Education Center for the College of Business on March 25. The new 36,000-square-foot complex, planned for completion in August 2012, will include a three-story atrium/lobby, high tech classrooms, an outdoor seating area, café, computer labs, a counseling center, a career services center with interview rooms and other learning facilities available to students.

The facility is designed to accommodate about 1,800 students and 50 faculty and staff members.

“The Education Center is a state-of-the-art facility designed to create a home and sense of place for College of Business student/faculty interaction and learning,” said Ed Ranelli, dean of the College of Business. “The courtyard and interior lobby will provide a venue where students can gather, study and interact with faculty and other students in between classes and enjoy snacks and refreshments at the cafe/coffee shop.”

UWF President Judith Bense, members of the Board of Trustees and the College of Business Advisory Board were present at the groundbreaking. Bense expressed her excitement for the new facility.

“This building will reflect the College of Business’s excellence,” said Bense. “Everyone has worked very hard, and students and faculty are very worthy of this building.”

The Education Center is expected to serve as a huge benefit for students of the College of Business and will include helpful educational aides, such as two large classrooms with high-tech instructional capability, a large modern case study room, several small team/group study areas, offices for COB student organizations, a computer lab/trading room and an exhibit/activities area.

“We want to set the standard for Business schools across the nation,” said Gen. Charles Horner, a member of the Board of Trustees.

The estimated cost of the new facility is $16.8 million.

The UWF College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is the premier accreditation agency for business education. Only 8 percent of business schools, nationally and internationally, have achieved this distinctive accreditation by AACSB.

“The university certainly enjoys a reputation in the community, as well as nationally,” said Ranelli. “This new facility will help reflect that excellence. Today marks the beginning of a new era, and I’m all smiles. This is a home where students will know their professors, and professors will know and mentor their students. The College of Business is a success story.”