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Business college’s new home offers practical learning, green surroundings

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douglas hall

Douglas Hall, which officially opens today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, includes open, flexible learning spaces and a market training lab.

At a ribbon-cutting today, UIC introduces the new home of the College of Business Administration in Douglas Hall, with features that include a financial market learning lab, a layout for collaborative learning and energy-efficient building systems.

“We are proud to have such an optimal, user-focused environment that will provide practical learning labs and innovative work spaces for our current and future students,” said Michael Pagano, the college’s interim dean.

The $11.7 million renovation, funded by student fees and gifts from individual and corporate donors, began in June 2010. The 24,000-square-foot building on the east campus was transformed into classrooms and flexible, open spaces for collaboration hubs and breakout rooms.

“Douglas Hall, with its adaptive classrooms and market training lab, reflects the CBA’s dedication to be ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving business environment,” Pagano said.

The building will be dedicated at an invitation-only ceremony today at 4 p.m.

One of its centerpieces is the market training lab, a trading floor similar to one found in a broker-dealer or proprietary trading firm.

Workstations linked to financial databases will help students learn to analyze data in a trading environment. The data will be used in market simulators, ticking analytics, trading engines and smart order routers, programmed by students with faculty guidance to experience trading strategies and theories in action.

The renovation, designed by The Architects Enterprise Ltd., meant gutting the entire structure and removing precast concrete and glass, while preserving the original concept of Walter Netsch’s mid-’60s architecture.

The building’s green features include geothermal wells, solar panels, automated interior lights, water savers and automated cooling/heating. The university will apply for LEED Gold Certification, a rating system for energy-efficient buildings.


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