Business students will get the chance to “collide” with one another and develop new business ventures in the recently announced Spencer and Marlene Hays Business Commons.
The aim is to create a place where students will not just come to class, but come to work, said John V. Roach Dean of the Neeley School of Business O. Homer Erekson.
“It will have a place for them to explore entrepreneurial ideas to work on starting new ventures and for a place to incubate those new ventures,” Erekson said.
Those places, Erekson says, are called collision zones.
The $100 million undertaking, the largest academic construction project in TCU history, will be completed in two phases. Phase one will add new east and south wings, in addition to an office complex. A new auditorium is also slated for construction.
Phase two will see renovations come to Tandy Hall and Smith Hall. However, plans call for the demolition of one building: Dan Rogers Hall. A new facility – likely the auditorium and office complex – will go in its place. That new building will connect to Tandy Hall and, via an elevated structure to be completed in Phase 1, Smith Hall.
Erekson admits it’s a bold project, but he already has the support of one prominent TCU couple.
Spencer Hays and his wife Marlene are donating an initial $30 million toward the construction of the Business Commons.
This isn’t the couple’s first donation to TCU, but it is their largest.
In a press release, the Hays’ said they are excited to help build the future of TCU.
Erekson is hoping to do the same. He says he wants to continue building the Neeley School into something unique, where strong faculty-student interactions are a defining factor.
“I have a passion for making a difference for our students, for TCU and for our Fort Worth community and well beyond,” said Erekson.