Oct 022008
Authors: Johnny Hart

CSU broke ground at Rockwell Hall yesterday in a project that will expand the building by 50 percent of its current size.

The 40,500 square-feet, $17.5 million expansion will feature nine new classrooms, a 112-seat auditorium, a financial data lab to simulate stock market transactions and wireless technology.

CSU President Larry Penley was among four keynote speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the future Rockwell Hall business minor location, including Dean of the College of Business Ajay Menon, CSU business alum Bob Hottman, and Rebecca Tuft, president of the Dean’s Student Leadership Council. The business minor wing will extend off Rockwell’s main building and is set to be completed by Jan. 2010.

“The goal of this expansion will indeed serve us all better,” CSU President Larry Penley said in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Ralph Peterson, CEO of CH2M HILL, gave a speech prior to the groundbreaking that focused on the future of business in the U.S.

Peterson’s presentation, “Business Leadership in the 21st Century,” focused mainly on business practices needed in the future, challenging the nearly 300 students, faculty and community members to compete in areas that “create value rather than just ‘victory.'”

“Use your gift to foster creativity and innovation that recognizes all three “p’s” — people, planet and profits — and you will leave this world a better place than you have found it,” Peterson said in his speech.

Peterson championed innovation in his speech, saying that the future of business lies in the creativity of the U.S.

“We have to create what we do well,” Peterson said in an interview. “The stone age didn’t end because we ran out rocks.”

Several prominent community members attended the ceremony, including Rep. John Kefalas, Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson, Fort Collins Council Member Wade Troxell, and Pat Stryker of the Bohemian Foundation.

“Based on what I know of the faculty, students, alumni and community that surrounds CSU, I fully expect to see a bountiful return on the investment symbolized by this afternoon’s spade-turning activities,” Peterson said.

Tuft, a senior business major, said that business students are “excited for something different” and the physical aspect of the building should match what the college is doing academically.

“Students don’t have that much money as it is, so clearly if they’re willing to pay, it means a lot,” Tuft said.

Senior Reporter Johnny Hart can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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