Construction on Iona College’s New Project Could Begin Next Spring
John Jordan | November 2016
NEW ROCHELLE—Iona College recently announced plans for a new facility for its AACSB-accredited School of Business, a state-of-the-art academic building that will incorporate part of the existing Hagan Hall while more than doubling the space for classrooms, lectures and faculty offices.
Architectural renderings and plans for the new building were shared with the campus community, neighbors and other members of the New Rochelle community. The designs and plans grew out of numerous meetings with students, faculty, staff and alumni over the last year, Iona officials stated.
“Iona College is committed to providing an unmatched student experience and to remaining a center for cutting-edge opportunities,” said President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. “This is a transformational project incorporating the historic Hagan Hall into the new building and our future.”
The facility will showcase the front of Hagan Hall, along with its iconic cupola, and will set it in an open glass atrium with views to the rest of campus. The atrium, or Grand Hall, will be a gathering space and a venue for larger events than can currently be accommodated elsewhere on campus. Along with state-of-the-art smart classrooms, case-study and breakout rooms, a business career center, quiet study space, and integrated faculty and administrative offices, the new structure will also feature an expanded and relocated LaPenta-Lynch Trading Floor, a School of Business centerpiece since it opened in October 2011. In all, the project will more than double the space available in the existing facility. The School of Business will be the first major academic building constructed in more than two decades at the New Rochelle campus.
The largest gift in the college’s history, $17.5 million from Trustee Robert V. LaPenta ’67, will make possible this new academic building at Iona. Mr. LaPenta, who announced a $15-million gift to the college in November 2015, later added an additional $2.5 million matching challenge to alumni of 1975-1995, all part of the college’s historic $150-million “Iona Forever” campaign.
“I am proud to support Iona’s mission of creating graduates who are smart, ethical, creative problem solvers,” Mr. LaPenta said when announcing his gift. “My time at Iona prepared me well to be successful in business, and to positively impact businesses and the livelihoods of others. I believe this gift will enhance Iona’s strong business school performance and reputation well into the 21st century.”
Iona’s Board of Trustees reviewed and approved the concept and design of the building at its meeting in September. No firm schedule for construction has been set; however, if fundraising remains strong and the approval process with the City of New Rochelle continues as scheduled, the goal is to begin construction in late spring followed by an 18-month build to have the complex open for the start of the 2018-2019 academic year.
The college is working with the design and architectural firm Gensler to plan the program and physical spaces of the new facility. “Business schools now need to train graduates for a workplace that is changing faster than ever before,” said Mark Thaler, AIA, Gensler’s education practice leader. “The new Iona School of Business will be a forward-thinking transformational educational structure that will prepare students for this landscape.”
“The new structure will serve as a central gathering place for the Iona business school community and be a welcoming center for all students, alumni and the larger community,” said Provost Vincent J. Calluzzo, Ph.D. “It will offer endless possibilities including interactive learning spaces, increased faculty-student engagement, cutting-edge technology and venues to host lectures and events.”