University of Missouri-Kansas City Builds ‘New Generation’ Business School

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$32 Million Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Opens Fall 2013

The new $32 million, 58,000-square-foot Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation opens this fall.

“We sought to shape the future of B-school design by creating spaces for highly active experiences,” said Steve McDowell, principal of BNIM, designer of the new building.

A new model for business schools opens this fall at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). The new $32 million, 58,000-square-foot Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is part of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, serving 1,800 graduate and undergraduate students. The facility's active learning classrooms include a simulated trading floor, design lab and behavioral science research space to help students learn by doing.

“The new Bloch Hall is more like a design school than a business school,” said the UMKC Bloch School Dean Teng-kee Tan. “While there will still be traditional classroom and case-method learning, the Bloch School is striving to break traditional molds by inventing and propagating new methods of experiential learning.”

Specifically, the three-story glass and terracotta building has a curved, functional design that includes:

  •     A behavioral science research lab that enables students to conduct on-the-spot experiments to gain insights into consumer behavior.
  •     A finance lab, which includes a trading floor to simulate real-time market transactions.
  •     An innovation lab with design simulation and prototyping areas that allow students to iterate and test ideas.
  •     A 200-seat auditorium and tiered amphitheater and a 16-screen video wall. An “Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame” will showcase inspiring business success stories.

“We sought to shape the future of B-school design by creating spaces for highly active experiences,” said Steve McDowell, principal of BNIM, designer of the new building. “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.”

Three giant skylights are positioned to provide maximum natural light throughout the day.

“Early in the design process Dean Tan remarked that the path of innovation is never a straight line,” said McDowell. “This statement resonated with our designers and was a driver for the communal flow and curved spaces throughout the interior.”

The Bloch School has recently gained global recognition for its entrepreneurship and innovation, accounting and nonprofit management programs. Specifically, it ranks number one in the world for innovation management research by the Journal of Product Innovation Management and was rated 2012’s National Model Graduate Entrepreneurship Program by the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Its graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurship programs are ranked among the top 20 in the nation by Princeton Review.

The new facility sits adjacent to UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management and is the result of a gift from Bloch School benefactor Henry W. Bloch. It will house the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, graduate and executive programs, as well as undergraduate courses.

The building was designed by award-winning firm BNIM, with associate architect firm moore ruble yudell, and built by JE Dunn Construction. It is designed to meet LEED Gold certification standards with a goal to achieve all LEED “Optimize Energy Performance” points.

“As Kansas City continues to make big strides in securing its place as America’s most entrepreneurial city, the programs and people of UMKC’s Bloch School play an integral part in our entrepreneurial growth and diversity,” said Thom Ruhe, vice president of entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, headquartered across the street from UMKC. “With this state-of-the-art new facility, our city looks forward to even greater contributions from the students and staff who use it to incubate and advance their new business ideas.”

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City Bloch School
The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the UMKC Bloch School inspires and nurtures future generations of entrepreneurs, and delivers transformational entrepreneurship education and experiences university-wide. The Henry W. Bloch School of Management strives to be Kansas City’s nationally and globally preeminent school of management focusing on entrepreneurial and innovative thinking as the foundation for transforming talent and achieving sustainable growth in for-profit, public and nonprofit enterprises. For more details, visit: bloch.umkc.edu.

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