Nearly three years after ground was first broken in a former parking lot on the Evanston lakefront, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management’s massive new home is almost ready. Though a firm date has not been set, the Global Hub — a 410,000-square-foot, six-story glass-and-steel complex that comes with an estimated $220 million price tag — is expected to open in early 2017, according to sources at the B-school.
The four-building complex is being hailed as not only Kellogg’s new home but a pioneer in meeting the needs of the 21st-century business student, according to a report on Kellogg’s website, with flexible classrooms and common spaces that emphasize green tech and energy savings. The interior layout, now beginning to take shape in the construction’s final phases, is designed to facilitate connection and collaboration, says Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner of Toronto-based KPMB Architects, which was also the architect for the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management building.
“This building is going to send a big message about the future of education, especially within management institutions,” Kuwabara said in the report. “You don’t want to be just another business school; you want to set the standard, and that’s what Kellogg has done.”
Adds Leann Paul, Kellogg’s lead project manager for the complex: “We designed a building that’s adaptable so that as technology and programs change in the future, the building can adapt with those needs.”
‘INSPIRING BRAVE THINKING AND CATALYZING BOLD ACTION’
The Global Hub will consist of a 6,000-square-foot central atrium called Collaboration Plaza, the two-story White Auditorium that seats 350, and the 1,400-square-foot Southwest Student Lounge, as well as a fitness center, a food court, a coffee bar, and several other lounges. When ground was broken on the new building in November 2013, Dean Sally Blount said it would embody “our commitment to inspiring brave thinking and catalyzing bold action as we meet the changing needs for management education in an increasingly complex and demanding global marketplace.”
Kellogg staff this week declined to comment to Poets&Quants, saying only that the school is not ready to speak about the Global Hub “externally,” except to say that its completion is expected in the first quarter of the new year. But in a Sept. 26 report in the Daily Northwestern announcing a $10 million gift to Kellogg from the Christopher B. Galvin Family Foundation, the school said the conference center and the first-floor design wing in the Global Hub will be named after the Galvin family.
The gift was part of the $350 million Transforming Together Campaign that Blount announced when ground was broken on the Global Hub in 2013.
The opening of the Global Hub will catch Kellogg up to its B-school rivals, many of which have erected spacious modern facilities in the last decade-plus. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business opened the doors on a $125 million home in 2004, and Yale University’s School of Management moved into its 242,000 square-foot Edward Evans Hall in January 2014. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business opened its $345 million nine-building complex in 2011, and Stanford’s new MBA dormitory, Highland Hall, opened just this month; it came with a price tag of $75 million.