Friday June 13, 2003
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Management prepares for Tech Square move


Technology Square, which opens officially July 14, will be the new home of the DuPree College of Management, the Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Starbucks, retail stores, restaurants and a hotel and convention center.

By Arjun Subramanian Contributing Writer

On July 14 the much anticipated Technology Square will officially open to the public. The project boasts a hotel, convention center, state of the art technology, the new Barnes and Noble Bookstore and the new home of the DuPree College of management.

Located in Midtown the project is sometimes considered psychologically if not physically separated from the rest of campus. The fact that it lies on the other side of the interstate poses some very unique integration problems.

According to Dr. Nathan Bennet, the Associate Dean of the DuPree College of Management, who is personally overseeing the transfer of the college’s career services, MBA and executive education programs, Technology Square aims to be the buzz of the campus despite its location.

With splendid lounges, futuristic IT infrastructure and its promise of bringing good eating to campus Bennet says, “it will be the part of campus students will want to hangout. It will be the equivalent of Harvard square.”

From the College of Management’s perspective, this is a monumental moment in its history. Bennet says, “this building will change the way we are perceived by the business community. It will provide an opportunity to bring people in and expose them to the quality of our students and staff.” The two most important ways in which a business school is evaluated are the quality of its students and faculty and it’s visibility to the business community. “We compare very favorably to all the top business schools when it comes to the first, but we tend to fall behind on the second,” says Bennet.

This project is a huge step forward in making Tech’s business school very visible to the business community. The decision to build Technology Square in Midtown, the home to corporate heavy weights like Equifax, Earthlink and Bellsouth, will pull the limelight towards the college. The move will also be a significant step towards reconnecting Tech with midtown.

Bennet said that this move will completely change the atmosphere of learning in the college. The Instructional Center’s classrooms were often dark, gloomy and far from providing an atmosphere conducive to learning. Technology Square will provide a cutting edge environment for studying in every way. There will be wireless internet access, power ports at every seat in the classrooms, auxiliary screens for video conferencing, plasma televisions with business news all over the building and a host of other facilities.

To make sure students have some way of moving across campus quickly, there will be special trolley services acting as a complement to the Stinger shuttle running across campus. Despite the opening date of July 14, the College will not be moving classes into the space until fall. Bennet points out that as with any project of this magnitude, there are bound to be bugs. The initial move will consist only of the staff and faculty. Over the month of July until the re-opening of school, the College will work to iron out as many problems as it can.

Bennet cautions that even with every effort to make the roll-out painless, a lot of patience will be needed from the students to make it work.

“The biggest challenge for all of us has been that this is a once in a life time thing. It wasn’t done before and the college will not have another new home for a long time to come. Since the experience is so new, most of us are learning as we go and will no doubt face problems.”

The positive side, says Bennet is that “the move removes a lot of the constraints that the old setting forced on us. We can finally begin to expose the high quality of our faculty and students and be very creative about promoting the college.”