WVU gives peek inside new College of Business and Economics

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Lawmakers and community leaders visited the new Chambers College of Business and Economics, Reynolds Hall, the old location of Stansbury Hall, at West Virginia University.

Stansbury Hall was the location of WVU’s basketball clubhouse, where WVU legend Jerry West played. Joshua Hall, associate dean of research and economics department chair of the College, said it will be a “hub” of the downtown campus.

The new building has six floors with various labs for tutoring, learning, studying and everything in between. There is a computer lab complete with over 40 duel monitors known as Bloomberg Terminals, a career closet for students to use when going to an internship or job interview, access to Augmented and Virtual Reality technology, the Holyman Social Stairwell- modeled after the stairs at Google’s Headquarters, an Einstein Brothers Bagels and a workout center with access to the Mon Rail Trail and Monongahela River, according to Hall.

“To me, I believe so much in what E. Gordon Gee says about project 168 — what we do in all of the hours outside of the class and this building is designed for students to spend their time out of class time. Between the Downtown athletic facility on the first floor to the Einstein Brothers Bagels to all of the collaborative spaces on all of the floors, it’s really going to be a hub on the downtown campus, I think,” Hall said.

Named for WVU alumnus and financier Robert Reynolds and his wife, Laura, who donated $10 million to help build the structure — at nearly 180,000-square-feet, Reynolds Hall more than doubles the space that the Chambers College has in its current building.

The May 23 tour began with presentations from Hall, WVU President E. Gordon Gee and Sarah Armstrong Tucker, chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and chancellor of the Community and Technical College System. Both expressed how excitement surrounding the building.

“We have an abundance of opportunity, we just need to make certain that we take advantage of it, we don’t squander it, we’re fast, agile and driven by the power of our imagination. If we can do that, then we’re going to be successful,” Gee said.

Armstrong said the importance of any type of higher education, especially in West Virginia and shared information about resources people might not know about. For example, they are increasing student financial aid and college planning outreach and bringing awareness to mental health on campus.

“This state, probably more than any other state in the nation, has invested in student financial aid and yet, our students still think our college isn’t affordable, but it is. We have to get that word out to them, we have to have them understand that higher education is affordable in the state of West Virginia and we will figure out a way to help them pay for it,” Armstrong said.

After the presentations, guests were split into group tours where guests were given a short presentation and answered questions.

Guests were also shown where a piece of the gym floor from the Basketball Club House in Stansbury Hall has been salvaged and hung on the wall.

Hall said that the project has been an idea since he came back to the university as a faculty member, 10 years ago. Four years ago, the project became a reality and construction began two years ago. The college is close to being fully finished, but will be ready for students this fall.

“I feel relieved and I’m excited to be able to have our students here in the fall,” Hall said.

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