Amid tight schedule, PTP school still aiming for January opening
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
As a result of the single largest alumni contribution that the University of New Hampshire has ever received, the construction of the Peter T. Paul Business and Economics School is well underway.
“Construction is advancing quickly,” said Dick Cannon, vice president of finance and administration. “Interior finishes have started in some sections, with the installation of heating, air conditioning and electrical systems.”
Although construction efforts are rapidly moving forward, Cannon noted that the size of the building makes the final touches difficult to accomplish on such a tight deadline.
“The schedule is very tight, but the contractor remains committed to finishing by the end of December,” Cannon said.
While the school is confident that the building will be open to students for the spring semester, Cannon commented that the registrar has only scheduled classes in the new facility that could easily be moved back to McConnell, if necessary.
According to Daniel Innis, dean of the school of business and economics, the new facility will work to strengthen the already highly acclaimed business school.
Mark Huddleston, president of UNH, noted that the building represents a crucial step forward for the economy here in New Hampshire and beyond.
The new building will enable the business school to expand its capacity from a 1,700 to a 2,500 student-body capacity.
The classrooms will include “smart classrooms,” equipped with the latest technology, allowing students and faculty to record lectures and download the sound bites onto their computers.
The state-of-the-art building was proposed to cost $50 million and was catapulted by a $25 million donation given by 1967 alumni Peter T. Paul.
Cannon noted that while the project is still financially on track, ending at $50 million, the remaining $11.5 million will be borrowed from internal campus reserves and repaid over time from the campus operating budget.
As Peter T. Paul was the largest contributor in the university’s history, the business and economics school adopted his name to honor his generous donation. The class of 2013’s diplomas will not indicate that it was issued from the Paul College, but will only carry the business or economics degree.
“We are committed to communicating that the Paul College not only carries on the excellence of the Whittemore School, but will enhance our ability to pursue our mission and objectives by providing a state-of-the-art facility that will improve the educational experience,” Cannon said.
The Whittemore Graduate School of Business and Economics will remain intact, as part of the Peter T. Paul School.
“We respect the honor and the history of the school as we advance toward a bold new future,” Cannon said.
With the reshuffling of names, the future of McConnell Hall is under discussion, but not yet decided.
Cannon said that if the state funds the renovation of Hamilton Smith in the next two years, McConnell will be used as a swing space for the English Department.
In the long term, or if Hamilton Smith isn’t funded, McConnell will become the home for the psychology department.
“We are starting a detailed planning process to determine exactly how the building will be reused,” Cannon said.