For David Donnelly, the 58,000-square-foot business school opening this fall on the campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City sends a clear message: The university and its home of Kansas City are committed to being the most entrepreneurial city and university in the country.
“We want everyone to know that the University of Missouri-Kansas City is Kansas City’s top university for business,” said Donnelly, acting dean of the university’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management. “This new facility will help us reach that goal.”
The $32 million Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will serve about 1,800 graduate and undergraduate students when it opens this fall adjacent to the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. A financial gift from Bloch School benefactor Henry W. Bloch made the building possible.
Architecture firm BNIM designed the building, while JE Dunn Construction built it.
Victoria Prater, director of communications at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, said that the new facility will help the school of management reach another goal: The school hopes to double its enrollment, a feat that the new hall for entrepreneurship can only help the school achieve.
“Henry (Bloch) felt good about everything about that was happening at the school, the vision we have here for the school’s future,” Prater said. “He felt like this was the right time to make a gift. He understood that we need that bricks-and-mortar facility to support our students.”
The new facility includes some interesting touches. There’s a simulated trading floor that will give students a hint as to what life is like when market decisions are being made in real time. There’s a behavioral science research lab that gives students the chance to conduct experiments to gain insight into consumer behavior. Students can also test business ideas in an innovation lab.
The facility also includes a 200-seat auditorium and tiered amphitheater. An Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame will provide inspiration.
“We sought to shape the future of B-school design by creating spaces for highly active experiences,” said Steve McDowell, principal of BNIM, in a written statement. “Outside represents a perfect square, but the inside has curvature and flow that allow people in the building to have clear views of other people, floors and spaces.”