University of Michigan Ross School of BusinessCommunity Creation 2006-2008
Building the Learning Community of the Future

Questions and Answers

What’s the purpose of the new building?
The new building will support the unique action-based learning curriculum of the Ross School of Business. It will help create an optimal environment for the school’s team-based learning that bridges theory and practice and encourages greater collaboration.

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How will the architecture support the program?
Faculty members, who are now spread across many buildings, will be in one location where they'll be able to enjoy an environment where mingling is natural. Supportive technology will facilitate continued "community" among those who are in the building and those in remote locations. The configuration of classrooms, now largely designed for lectures, will support interactive learning, team projects and discussions. There will be group study rooms adjacent to classrooms. Tiered classrooms, flat-floor classrooms and breakout spaces will be together in one area so that a single class can move among different environments at different times during the class.

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How large is the new building?
It will be a 270,000-square-foot structure (compared to the current 180,000 sq.ft.), three stories high around the perimeter, with a six-story L-shaped tower at its center. (See Building Design).

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What’s the cost?
$145 million.

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What’s the source of funding?
The building project will be funded by $75 million from the Stephen M. Ross gift. Additional gifts and business school resources will fund the remainder. (See The Ross Gift).

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What will the building do to establish an identity for the school?
The new building will include a new, highly visible main entrance for the Ross School and be located at the corner of Tappan and Monroe streets, diagonally across from the Law School. Facing inward toward Central Campus, it is intended to serve as a "gateway" to the University and our neighbors. The entrance opens into the Davidson Winter Garden, an atrium that will serve as a large community area for students, faculty and others to gather to study, relax and eat.

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What are the building materials?
Currently, exterior materials include a sandstone base and terra cotta walls which will be constructed in panels. Colors have not yet been decided. There also will be glass walls at the top of the six-story parts of the building.

Our plan is that the new building will be LEED certified. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Our goal is to make the best choices to achieve the highest environmentally sustainable impact within our budget. For example, green roofs on parts of the campus will reduce storm water run-off and reduce heat gain.

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What’s the construction schedule?
Construction is on schedule with “substantial completion” currently scheduled for late October 2008.  The furniture and audio visual installations are planned for November – December 2008 and the building ready for use and classes beginning in January 2009.

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