$22 million Brock University business school renovation, expansion breaks ground

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Ontario has celebrated the groundbreaking of a major $22 million renovation and expansion project at Brock University’s Goodman School of Business that will help better connect students, entrepreneurs, researchers and local businesses.

As announced in the 2015 Budget, Ontario invested $10 million to reconfigure and modernize Goodman’s current facilities in Taro Hall, the provincial government said in a news release.

The project architect is +VG Architects  and Cooper Construction Ltd. is serving as construction manager, according to university documents.

The facility will feature:

  • New classrooms
  • Refurbished and modernized existing classrooms
  • A new research lab
  • New interview rooms with the latest technology to support prospective employers who are meeting students
  • More seminar rooms, meeting spaces and faculty offices

This project will result in more than 75,000 square feet of new, renovated and refreshed space at the Goodman School of Business, making it a landmark on Brock’s campus and for the surrounding St. Catharines community.

An earlier university news release said  that “using an innovative blend of new construction and major upgrades of existing space, the project will grow Goodman from its current 50,526 sq. ft. to 76,758 sq. ft. Besides delivering modern facilities and technology, the initiative will also give the University a new landmark that reinforces the Isaac Brock Plaza area as the vibrant heart of campus.”

The end result will have a big impact on the experience for Goodman’s 2,900 undergrads and 520 graduate students, says Barry Wright, Dean of the Goodman School of Business.

“This is about giving Goodman students a better advantage in launching their careers,” says Wright. “Yes, the architecture will be beautiful, but importantly this project brings a new generation of teaching and learning facilities that are truly state-of-the-art.”

The most visually defining feature will be the two-storey glass “engagement atrium” at the west end of the complex. Serving as both a work/meeting space for students, and a venue for Goodman events or presentations, the atrium will be a striking foyer looking out on the iconic sculpture of Maj. Gen. Sir Isaac Brock.

Taro Hall’s nine current classrooms will be extensively renovated with new floors, ceilings, furniture, accessibility, lighting and technology, and all existing offices and spaces will either be enlarged or refreshed with new flooring and fixtures.

Ken Klassen, a business operations professor who is the project lead for the Goodman project, says the first priority will be completing all new construction by Spring 2017. That will allow staff and students to vacate the current Taro Hall in scheduled phases, as the original facility is reconfigured and modernized.

Klassen said the schedule will be planned to minimize the impact of construction activity on daily activities. Completion date for the entire project is summer 2018.

The university has raised about 85 per cent of the project’s cost, and is undertaking a donor campaign to raise the remaining $3 million. Pamela Shanks, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations, says Brock is eager to have discussions with individuals or companies about gifts and naming opportunities in the new Goodman School.

In addition to the provincial government support, the university received funds from The Goodman Family Foundation; BMO; KPMG; Wormald, Masse Keen and Lopinski LLP; Cooper Wealth Management; and from the Co-op Accounting Class of 1984, the first-ever graduates of what has become one of Brock’s most successful and sought-after programs.

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