More than 80,000 cubic yards of earth are being moved to create the footprint from which the College of Business’ new home will rise at Clemson University.

Atrium, construction, new building, business

The North Tower atrium will rise more than 100 feet from ground level.
Image Credit: LMN/LS3P

The twin-tower, 180,000-square-foot building will anchor a new north academic precinct along Walter T. Cox Boulevard that will one day occupy up to 600,000 to 700,000 square feet of building space for university expansion. Completion of the $87.5 million building is tentatively scheduled for 2020.

“A magnificent, 21st century center of business education will begin taking shape in just months,” said Bobby McCormick, business school dean. “Students across all academic disciplines are going to want to use this collaborative space, which is designed to cultivate social and intellectual interaction.”

Clemson MBA alum Justin Tetor ’11, project manager for DPR Construction, the general contractor, said work is progressing on the project’s early phases. He said placing of the building’s concrete footings should begin by the end of April and the structure’s foundation should be completed by June. Steel will begin rising from the hillside by mid-July, with the building’s steel super structure completion anticipated by October of this year.

“Many factors can affect those timelines, not the least of which is weather,” Tetor said. “But we will work to overcome that challenge, and others that may arise on a project of this magnitude, to meet those deadlines.”

The early construction phase has about 30 workers moving tons of dirt, some of which will be kept at the site to backfill the building and support landscaping grades. The rest will be removed from the hillside.

DPR Construction’s primary role is construction manager, but it also handles interior framing and drywall. Other parts of the project such as electrical, plumbing and landscaping will be handled by about 40 to 50 subcontractors.

The building will have two towers, North and South. From ground level, the five-story North Tower will rise more than 100 feet from ground level. The two towers will be separated on the ground and first floors by an outdoor plaza.

Construction, by the numbers, new building, business “Some of the features of the North Tower will be an atrium that will stretch from the ground to fourth floors,” Tetor said. “Another feature is a glass-enclosed financial trading room which overlooks Walter T. Cox Boulevard. At night, passers-by will see the electronic ticker ribbon running, indicating this building is all about business.”

A grand staircase with 78 steps will rise from street level between the two towers. The majority of the North Tower will be comprised of classrooms and labs, with most of them being on ground, 1st and 2nd levels.

“The South Tower will be four stories and will primarily house faculty and staff offices and their respective workspaces,” Tetor added. “Included in that space will be the dean’s office and a board room that will provide an expansive view of Bowman Field.”

Tetor said the design team is going to great lengths to create an environment for faculty and student collisions.

“Collaboration space is definitely built into the structure’s DNA, especially in the North Tower where there will be a café and space that is conducive for social and academic interaction. Also, on the second floor there will be a large study lounge and a fireplace lounge,” Tetor added.

Business education space will nearly double what is currently available in historic Sirrine Hall, the college’s current home. McCormick said the new home to business education at Clemson will resemble a look and feel reflective of 21st century business.

“This is a historic project in size and scope because of the impact it will have on Clemson University’s future as a whole,” McCormick added. “In addition to creating a new center of campus and a stronger profile for Bowman Field, this vibrant facility will become a beehive activity that furthers the university’s strategic plan by supporting the experience, intellect and engagement that make up the heart of today’s Clemson.”

Construction notes

-As business school construction proceeds, remnants of Clemson House are still being removed from the immediate area. However, some of the iconic hall’s rubble is being used as a base for heavy-equipment roadways designed to mitigate erosion at the construction site.

-The project is also serving as a student lab for construction management and civil engineering students on campus. A number of students within those disciplines are working as interns and volunteers on the two-year project.

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