PITTSBURG — One of the most widely seen buildings at Pittsburg State University has renovations on the horizon, possibly even a rebuild.
The 1,000-student Kelce College of Business announced the hiring of architecture firm Clark Huesemann earlier this week. The firm met with the college on Wednesday to begin discussion on the renovations or potential rebuilding. The college’s dean, Paul Grimes, said the college will use a $3 million donation from alumni John and Susan Lowe as a starting point for construction.
“The reason we are doing all this is to create the right environment for us to teach 21st century business skills to our students,” Grimes said. “The students are really what’s driving the whole project. We just don’t have the type of spaces that allow us to teach the classes using the current technology and pedagogies that we need to be offering students.
A structural engineer’s evaluation will let the college know if renovations or a new building are needed. Grimes put a new building in the ballpark of $15 million, but said nothing is certain.
“Everything is on the table,” he said.
Anything additional to the $3 million donation requires fundraising. Grimes said it could be a couple years before any construction begins.
Grimes said there is ample space on campus to house the business students in the event of a new building being constructed.
Architectural firm Clark Huesemann was chosen in late fall out of five finalists. The company has worked at PSU since the early 90s, according to co-owner Steve Clark.
Clark said the firm is currently working with the university on a signage plan and renovations to Leonard H. Axe Library.
He plans on 2016 mostly being “programming and design.” But, the company will provide oversight on any construction in the future.
Clark hopes to add some “hang out” space in the college. Something he said is needed for students taking classes all day. Whatever is done, Clark said it needs to be worthy of its location.
“We want to make a good impression on Broadway Street with what we do,” Clark said.
Grimes said the school was built in the 1950s. There were some small renovations at the end of the 20th century.
“It’s all about giving us the right facility so we can give a high quality business education,” Grimes said.
According to a press release, Kelce College of Business is one of fewer than 700 universities in the world to have earned accreditation from Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.