New campus building houses beauty, brains

Jaw-dropping. That is the word that comes to mind after touring the new building on campus that is housing the College of Business and Economics (COBE), and I am not just talking aesthetics.

The U-shaped architecture is unique and the courtyards and fountains are inviting—simply because it’s brand-spanking new and fresh.

Those are just obvious external things. On the inside, the building is filled with some of the most state-of-the-art equipment in the world.

The COBE building was built in 18 months, from the time the ground was broken to the completion of the project the first week of May. Individuals working in the building were able to move-in
in July.

This vision, however, was a project started over five years ago when money was first being raised to build the building.

The initial donation was from the Micron Foundation League Gift, which was $12 million.

“Steve Appleton and the Micron Foundation have a real passion for education,” said Patrick Shannon, dean of the College of Business and Economics.

After this gift the real process began, which initially entailed raising more money.

Hewlett-Packard was another large donor, giving over $500,000 in printers, personal computers and related technologies. As part of their grant, HP will also be installing a beta test lab where intern students will get to work with engineers testing new products.

It took seven months to plan. After the planning, Hummel Architects, a Boise-based firm was selected and they partnered with two other firms, Anderson Mason Dale from Denver and Integrated Structures from Berkley, Calif.

They went through a process called Pattern Language, in which 42 students, faculty and administration lent their ideas about what they thought this building should look like.

The architects, armed with these ideas, then went to work trying to incorporate as many of these patterns as possible.

ESI, another Boise-based company that has over 30 key employees who are former Boise State students, was also hired for the construction.

In all, the building cost $35 million to complete, stayed on budget, finished on time and used no tax dollars.

COBE is also housing the Small Business Development Center and TecHelp, which have always been part of their department but were always somewhere else on campus.

Sustainability was a thought foremost on their minds as they designed the building, and COBE is actually geothermally heated and uses natural light to reduce the cost of electricity.

On the interactive touchscreens, one of the options students can choose is information on how to help keep the building green (by turning off laptops, printers, etc. when it is not in use), and there is a window on the ground floor where individuals can actually take a peak at the geothermal system in action.

The building’s entire design, from each classroom to all it’s advanced ammenities, is crafted for the success of the students who will be educated within its walls.

Patrick Shannon, dean of the College of Business and Economics, lead one Arbiter staffer on the official tour.

Walking through the hallways, noticable, large, interactive touchscreens can be seen hanging from the walls.

The undergraduate classrooms on the first floor are round and spacious. The seating is tiered with rolling mesh chairs and each individual station has power to plug in a laptop. Every classroom in the building has at least dual-screen
projection.

The Skaggs Hall of Learning is, as Shannon put it, “the greatest classroom you will ever find.”

It seats 250 students, has three projection screens and advanced acoustics.

Some classrooms are equipped with pop-up personal computers at every station. The Dykman Financial Trading Room contains Bloomberg computer systems, which is some of the finest hardware and software in the world.

The Imagination Lab, designed for thinking, creativity and innovation, was donated largely by Coach Petersen and his wife Barbara. There are smaller think-tank rooms off of the Imagination Lab, with names like “The Hah Room”.

The Executive Program Classroom has a terrace for lunch breaks with small umbrella-adorned tables and a live roof which is dormant now but will be covered with flowers in the spring.

The Williams Boardroom, one of eight conference rooms in the building, is available for businesses and various groups to rent out, with catering
available.

Along various parts of each hallway are Team Rooms; glass enclosed mini conference rooms with walls that can be written on with dry erase markers. Four to five students can get together and work on projects in these rooms without disturbance.

Additionally, wireless printing can be done from anywhere in the building.

The Jackson’s Common Area is a large sitting area with a fireplace that will be lit in the winter, and the cafe is run by residents of the COBE dorms.

Whether visitors find themselves in the new Micron Business and Economics Building to warm themselves by the crackling fire in the winter, smell the fresh flowers in the spring or just need a quiet place to study, this building is equipped with amenities to meet a wide range of needs.

About the author  ⁄ Nicole Pineda

Nicole Pineda

Nicole Pineda is a senior at Boise State majoring in Communications with an emphasis on Media Productions. She aspires to become a broadcast journalist. Nicole is married and has 4 children ranging in age from 2 to 13. She is originally from Sacramento but was raised in Idaho and considers herself a native. She has lived in various places in Idaho, but has been a resident of the Treasure Valley for fifteen years. She enjoys cooking, camping, and working out in her spare time.