Ashleigh Crouch, Correspondent
The construction of Jacksonville State University’s new School of Business and Industry complex has officially begun.
The new facility will be constructed by Doster, a construction company that operates out of Birmingham.
The new facility will be approximately 105,000-square-feet and will feature a 300-seat auditorium, three-story atrium and common space, 12 academic classrooms, a finance lab, faculty and staff offices and a Dean’s suite. The building will also house a café that will be accessible by all students.
According to Doster’s press release regarding the project, the new building is meant to “serve as a bridge between the past and future of the campus architecture.”
Buffy Lockette, JSU’s director of public relations, said that the university is “waiting on a date for the groundbreaking.”
The new facility is set to cost $50 million to construct, $10 million of which is expected to come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other insurance settlements.
In March of 2018, Merrill Hall, the former home to the School of Business and Industry, was heavily damaged in an EF-3 tornado that struck the campus of Jacksonville State University, leading to its demolition on July 29, 2019. The facility was nearly 50 years old.
Since then, business classes have been held at the former site of Kitty Stone Elementary School, which is now owned by the university.
The original building was constructed in 1970 for $2 million and was named in honor of Anniston Rep. Hugh D. Merrill, who played a role in changing JSU from a teacher’s college to the state college it is today.
The building will house classes in accounting, applied engineering, communication, economics, finance and management and marketing. While an exact date has not yet been released, construction of the new building is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2021.