Adams Hall vision to become reality

Construction plans for the new Adams Hall School of Business on campus are a go. On Wednesday, the university’s Board of Trustees agreed to move forward with the project that will involve the total interior renovation of the historic Laird Hall of Science into the new Adams Hall, which will become home to the School of Business upon its completion in the fall of 2010.

The nearly 100-year-old Laird Hall has been mothballed for more than a year in anticipation of the renovation and construction project, slated to begin Nov. 2.

“We have identified the creation of Adams Hall and the School of Business as our top academic priority, so we are very excited to begin this project,” said President Robert Huntington. “We share in John Q. Adams’ vision that our School of Business will be transformed into one of the best in the Midwest, if not the nation.”

“We also believe that the new school, which will be accompanied by programmatic improvements, will stimulate enrollment in an already strong Department of Business Administration, Accounting and Economics,” Huntington said. “The potential to build, expand and enhance our business curriculum is exciting for all segments of the Heidelberg community.”

Alumnus and Trustee John Q. Adams provided the lead gift of $2 million toward the project.

When it is complete, the state-of-the-art Adams Hall will provide the framework that will drive the academic priority of the School of Business: to prepare Heidelberg students to become entrepreneurs, business leaders, executives, analysts and marketers in an increasingly competitive global economy.

Adams Hall features will include:

  • A video conferencing center, creating opportunities for off-campus meetings and delivery of courses to places around the world
  • Six multi-media classrooms with the latest instructional technology
  • Cutting-edge computer labs and a classroom equipped with a networked computer for each student.

Heidelberg has partnered with the Columbus-based BHDP Architecture to develop plans for the three-story Adams Hall. The construction schedule calls for completion in mid-July. The facility would be ready for the start of the 2010-11 school year on Aug. 23, 2010.

As Adams Hall comes to life, Heidelberg administrators are already looking at new initiatives and opportunities for students, said Andrew Weiss, director of the School of Business. These include the integration of the undergraduate and the MBA degree; the creation of multidisciplinary programs associated with the business program; expansion of opportunities for student internships and student participation with local businesses; and inclusion of alumni and business leaders to share their experiences with Heidelberg students.

A second component of the board decision includes a smaller-scale project: creation of a Media Communications Center to house the WHEI radio and television stations, and local radio station WTTF. The new center will provide the university an opportunity to enhance current academic programs and explore new programs around the business of media communications.

Trustees Doug Stephan, class of ’68, and Tony Paradiso have purchased WTTF with the intent of donating it to the university.

This second phase involves relocation of Heidelberg’s student-run television and radio stations, which are currently housed in Founders Hall. Renovation of a first-floor wing of Krieg Residence Hall on Main Street into the Media Communications Center will create a new teaching and learning facility that includes studios, classroom and faculty office space.

“We believe that the potential synergy that can be created by combining the radio and TV functions, together with other academic media programs, under one roof will stimulate enrollment in newly energized programs,” Huntington said. “The new center will provide an opportunity to enhance current academic programs and explore new programs around the business of media communications.”

The visionary behind Adams Hall, John Q. Adams, graduated from Heidelberg in 1958.Through the course of his career, he has owned three highly successful pharmaceutical companies, including Adams Labs, which holds exclusive FDA approval to produce the respiratory medication Mucinex.

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Oct 8, 2009