Updated: Northwestern announces new home for Kellogg School of Management

Lark Turner

The University has selected a site adjacent to the lakeside James L. Allen Center for the new Kellogg School of Management building, which, when built, will open up the Donald P. Jacobs Center for an alternate use.

After vetting issues related to parking for the new building, the site was formally selected Wednesday, according to University President Morton Schapiro. The Board of Trustees also approved of the plan in a meeting Thursday, according to University spokesman Al Cubbage.

“Following a thorough review of plans for the building, we’re excited to finalize this site, which offers breathtaking lakefront views and will be a destination for business and civic leaders from around the world,” said Sally Blount, the dean of Kellogg, in a news release. “This site will unify our anchor campus in Evanston and serve as a foundation for our global network in the 21st century.”

Blount added that the design process for the building has already begun and the school is increasing its fundraising efforts for the project. The next step in the process will be selecting an architect, Cubbage said.

In November 2009, NU was considering a site east of the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Aquatic Center. The selected site was initially “not being considered,” Cubbage said.

Kellogg’s fundraising efforts will become easier as the plan is finalized, Cubbage said. Because plans, size and cost are still to be determined, the fundraising goal is not yet decided, he said.

The school first announced plans for a new building in April 2008. At the time then-University President Henry Bienen said the building would likely be larger than the 240,000 square foot Jacobs Center.

A year later, Bienen said the cost of constructing the new building would be in the “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Because the building will take the place of a parking lot, the school is considering several alternate options for parking requirements for the new building, including underground parking, Cubbage said.

Kellogg’s new building will open up the Jacobs Center for an alternate use. Schapiro said it makes sense to re-purpose the building for social sciences departments left wanting due to a dearth in office space on campus.

However, such offices would not dominate the entire building. The Associated Student Government’s New Student Center Initiative has suggested a parking lot adjacent to Jacobs as a possible site for a replacement for Norris University Center.

“(The Jacobs Center is) right there,” Schapiro said. “We’d be crazy not to seriously think about converting it to another student center.”

Jacobs has an auditorium and other spaces that could be re-configured for student use. Schapiro also suggested making more improvements to Norris.

“It makes a lot more sense to re-purpose some of Norris and to really invest in making Jacobs the kind of place that it can be given its location and given the fact that it already has a lot of nice aspects to it,” he said.

Schapiro said he was “encouraged” by renovations Bienen put into Norris in summer 2009 at a cost of about $750,000.

“I’m not somebody who thinks we should just board up Norris,” he said. “Some people say that’s putting lipstick on a pig, but I’m not really sure that is, in fact, the case.”

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