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August 5, 2010

From ‘pipe dream’ to reality: Foster School of Business readies Paccar Hall for its debut

The University’s Foster School of Business has quietly begun the process of occupying its new building, Paccar Hall, which was completed this summer. Crews began installing office furniture in the five-story, 135,000-square-foot building last week.

“Some administrative functions will remain in Mackenzie Hall, but otherwise, faculty will be in the new building,” said Roland (Pete) Dukes, who has served as the faculty liaison for the project. “There are 124 offices, including 10 designed for doctoral students.”

Faculty got to choose from four or five different layouts for their offices, Dukes said, and the new furniture “looks like it belongs there.” It replaces a lot of heavy, metal Steelcase desks in the old building.

“Faculty who have been in the building are very excited about it and looking forward to having offices there,” Dukes said.

Faculty will move into Paccar Hall beginning Aug. 23, and by Sept. 10, early-arriving MBA students will be having classes there.

In addition to the offices, the building will be home to 19 classrooms that will be equipped such that a professor can use any kind of media for teaching. Sixty percent of them will have Course Capture, a system that records a class and enables students to watch it later online. There will also be a videoconference room, a 250-seat auditorium and 28 breakout rooms to be used for small group discussions.

Other amenities include air conditioning, an outdoor terrace and a cafe that seats 100 people and will serve Starbucks coffee. It’s expected that the cafe will open in mid-September.

A student celebration for the new building is planned sometime in the first week of fall quarter (the date isn’t yet nailed down). The formal dedication will be on Oct. 15.

For Dukes, the building’s opening is the culmination of a long process. “I’ve been involved since 2001, when a new building was just a pipe dream,” he said. “It’s nice to see that dream come to fruition.”