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Business School Consolidates Its Far-Flung Activities

by Gretchen Kell

The Haas School of Business finally has a home of its own--nearly 100 years after becoming the first business school in the nation at a public university.

The result was worth the wait.

The school's new abode is a $55 million, high-tech facility financed completely by private donations and designed by renowned American architect Charles Moore and colleagues at Moore Ruble Yudell in Santa Monica.

Construction took 23 months and was largely completed in April and dedicated at a May 6 ceremony.

Three connected wings grouped around a courtyard, the 200,000-square-foot hillside complex creates, by design, a sense of community that the business school's 1,300 students and 120 faculty lacked previously. The new buildings also create a new eastern gateway to campus with an entrance arch, Cronk Gate, framing the campanile.

"This complex is a teaching and research school of the future with long-overdue, modern facilities to match the cutting-edge business education for which the Haas School is known," said Chancellor Tien.

Previously, the school's computer center was cramped and substandard. Thoroughly "wired," the new building allows students access to the latest technology in its spacious computer center, library and classrooms. Throughout the complex, students can connect laptop computers directly to the Internet.

Classes no longer are scattered across campus, but will be held in Cheit Hall, the west wing and the principal classroom building. A business and economics library, in the south wing, replaces what had been a fragmented library in three locations. The south wing also houses the computer and career centers, student services and administration.

The building is an "essential step," said Dean William A. Hasler, "toward increased recognition of the school as an acknowledged leader in international business, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the management of technology."

The new complex will serve not only business students and faculty, but also people from other campus departments and research centers. When Berkeley first opened its College of Commerce in 1898, it was housed in a section of South Hall. Renamed the School of Business Administration in 1941, it moved in 1964 to Barrows Hall, sharing the building with the departments of economics, political science, sociology and Near Eastern studies.

A $23.75 million gift from the Haas family of Levi Strauss & Co. was the cornerstone contribution for the new complex.

In all, more than 2,000 donors--ranging from the famous to the anonymous--helped the Haas School reach its goal.


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