Florida Southern College to Break Ground on State-of-the-Art Becker Business Building
LAKELAND (Feb. 12, 2013) – Florida Southern College will take a another major step forward in the creation of its premier business program when it breaks ground this week on the future home of the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Bill and Mary Ann Becker Business Building will take place at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the corner of Lake Hollingsworth Drive and Hollingsworth Road.
Bill Becker and his wife, Mary Ann, gave the generous naming gift for the building. Mr. Becker, a 1965 graduate of Florida Southern, is owner of Peace River Citrus Products and a former chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission. In April 2011, the College conferred upon him the honorary degree Doctor of Business in recognition of his exemplary business ethics, civic leadership, entrepreneurial success, and philanthropic support of many organizations.
The three-story, 40,000-square-foot Becker Business Building is being designed by renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern of New York, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, who previously designed the Nicholas and Wesley Barnett Residence Halls and the Dr. Marcene H. and Robert E. Christoverson Humanities Building at Florida Southern. Mr. Stern’s designs complement the College’s Frank Lloyd Wright collection of buildings, which have been designated a National Historic Landmark. Mr. Stern has designed buildings for some of America’s most prestigious colleges, including Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, and the University of Virginia.
The Becker Building will be a state-of-the-art business education facility. High-tech classrooms will include the latest in educational technology, and the building will feature a simulated trading floor, a laboratory in which students can learn firsthand about investment analysis and trading strategies. The building will also house a computer lab, a career and placement center, small group meeting rooms, faculty offices, and the Passport Café, which will feature food from around the world.
“This dynamic state-of-the-art facility will be a place where generations of students prepare for important careers throughout the world,” said FSC President Anne Kerr. “It will help establish the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise as one of the best business schools in the nation.”
The projected completion date for the Becker Business Building is the summer of 2015.