MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Lawmakers and community leaders visit Reynolds Hall, the new Chambers School of Business and Economics, which is the former site of Stansbury Hall at West Virginia University.
Stansbury Hall was the location of the WVU Basketball clubhouse where WVU legend Jerry West played. Joshua Hall, vice dean of the college’s research and economics department, said it would be a “centre” of the downtown campus.
The new building consists of six floors with various laboratories for teaching, learning, working and everything in between. There’s a computer lab complete with more than 40 dueling monitors known as Bloomberg Terminals, a career locker for students to use on their way to an internship or job interview, access to Augmented and Virtual Reality technology, and the Holyman Social Stairwell modeled after stairs. According to Hall, Google’s Headquarters is an Einstein Brothers Bagels and exercise center with access to the Mon Rail Trail and Monongahela River.
“I believe very much in what E. Gordon Gee said about project 168 – the things we do during all hours outside of class, and this building is designed for students to spend their time outside of class. From the Downtown athletic facility on the first floor to the Einstein Brothers Bagels and all the co-working spaces on all floors, I think it’s going to really be a hub on the downtown campus,” Hall said.
Named after WVU graduate and financier Robert Reynolds and his wife, Laura, who donated $10 million to build the structure—the nearly 180,000-square-foot Reynolds Hall more than doubles the space it holds in Chambers College’s current building.
The May 23 trip began with presentations by Hall, WVU President E. Gordon Gee, and Sarah Armstrong Tucker, president of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and president of the Community and Technical College System. Both expressed the excitement surrounding the building.
“We have so many opportunities, we just need to make sure we take advantage of it, don’t waste it, act fast, agile and imaginative. If we can do that, we will succeed,” said Gee.
Armstrong shared information about resources people don’t know about, highlighting the importance of all forms of higher education, especially in West Virginia. For example, they increase student financial aid and college planning outreach, and they bring awareness to mental health on campus.
“This state, probably more than any other state in the country, has invested in student financial aid, and yet our students still think our college isn’t a good fit, but it is. “We have to get that word out to them, make sure they understand that higher education in the state of West Virginia is affordable, and we’ll find a way to help them pay for it,” said Armstrong.
After the presentations, the guests left for group tours and a short presentation was given to the guests and their questions were answered.
Guests were also shown where part of the gym in the Basketball Club House in Stansbury Hall was salvaged and hung on the wall.
Hall said the project was an idea since he went back to college as a faculty 10 years ago. Four years ago the project became a reality and construction started two years ago. The college is almost finished, but will be ready for students this fall.
“I feel relieved and excited to welcome our students here in the fall,” Hall said.
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