More Than 1,500 Sign Beam for New College of Business Building

Construction on the 74,000-square-foot expansion began in the spring. Plans for the building have been underway for six years. They received final approval from the Board of Trustees in February 2020, but the pandemic pushed construction back one year.

The three-story, four-floor building is anticipated to open in the fall. It was made possible as a result of donors who have expressed confidence in the future of the college and whose gifts are largely funding the project.

“It’s a great symbol of forward progress and gives us a real sense that the end of construction is not far down the road,” said President Joseph J. Helble ’82 during Thursday’s beam signing. “Within a year we will be in a position to occupy the building and give students access to state-of-the-art classrooms and learning spaces.”

The additional space means even more Lehigh students, including those from outside the College of Business, will be able to take advantage of the college’s programming, he said.

The expansion will add to the Rauch Business Center, which opened in 1991. Since Rauch opened, the College has seen a 43% increase in enrollment and 38% increase in faculty. New programs and courses of study have been added, including a FinTech minor, interdisciplinary initiatives majors and executive education.

“We’ve been bursting at the seams in Rauch for many years,” said McKay Price, who holds the Collins-Goodman Chair in Real Estate Finance and is the director of the Goodman Center for Real Estate. He was one of the faculty members who in 2015 joined the initial committee looking at ways to expand the College of Business..

The new building will have features that include  classrooms with expansive whiteboard spaces and overhead projectors, and a round classroom where students can sit facing each other. 

“Imagine taking a negotiations course where instead of sitting in a typical classroom, you are sitting in a circle facing each other and fostering conversation,” Price said. “It will be a nice addition to have.”

Progress on the new business building can be viewed here.