Va. Tech complex to house biz programs
Fall visitors to Virginia Tech are likely to spot laborers hard at work on the university’s Data and Decision Sciences building, the first of four buildings that will make up the university’s Global Business and Analytics Complex (GBAC) — classroom and living spaces centered around using data to address problems facing businesses and society.
“We’ve been working on this project for years, so to be at the point where the first of the four buildings is coming out of the ground feels great,” says Robert Sumichrast, dean of Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.
To woo Amazon.com Inc. to bring its HQ2 East Coast headquarters to Northern Virginia, state leaders in 2018 created the Tech Talent Investment Program, a workforce pipeline initiative. As part of it, the General Assembly allocated $69 million for the Data and Decision Sciences building, and Virginia Tech officials agreed to add at least 2,000 additional students in computer science, computer engineering and related disciplines.
Scheduled to open in 2023, the 115,000-square-foot Data and Decision Sciences building will serve multiple colleges, including the College of Engineering, the College of Science and the Pamplin College of Business. The building will include specialized labs, data visualization classrooms and team rooms for interdisciplinary student collaboration.
The second academic building to be built as part of the GBAC will house the Pamplin College of Business. Currently, faculty members from the business college’s real estate and hospitality and tourism management departments have offices scattered across campus due to a lack of room in Pamplin Hall, the college’s current home. “Being able to bring them together will really allow more synergy within the business college,” Sumichrast says.
Additionally, the GBAC complex will include two “living-learning residential communities” with housing for 700 undergraduates studying business, science and engineering. It will also have entrepreneurship laboratories and faculty-in-residence apartments.
As of late September, Virginia Tech had put together all but a little under $8 million for the $250 million GBAC through state and private funding, according to Sumichrast.
The Deloitte Foundation, in partnership with Virginia Tech alumni who work at Deloitte, are contributing $3 million to build the GBAC. Virginia Tech also received $2.5 million from the KPMG Foundation and former KPMG Chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie and her husband, Ben; a $2.1 million grant from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation; and $1.6 million raised to date by Virginia Tech alumni working at Ernst & Young.
“I’m confident that by next summer we’ll have the money raised,” Sumichrast says.