Albert signing Heavener Hall beam

Heavener School celebrates progress of new undergraduate building

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Warrington College of Business Administration celebrated the progress of Heavener Hall, the College’s new state-of-the-art undergraduate building, with a beam-signing ceremony Friday.

About 100 guests gathered for the ceremony, which was held on Heavener Hall’s construction site on the northeast corner of UF’s campus. Among those in attendance were UF President J. Bernard Machen, Warrington Dean John Kraft, former Heisman Trophy winner and UF alumnus Danny Wuerffel and James W. “Bill” Heavener (BSBA ’70), namesake of the Heavener School of Business and Heavener Hall.

Guests at the ceremony signed a 35-foot, 2,660-pound, steel beam that will be installed in Heavener Hall, which is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2015.

“Heavener Hall will make an enduring impact, not only on our undergraduate program, but on the entire College,” Kraft said. “We are eagerly anticipating the building’s completion, and we’re thrilled that Bill, members of his family and Bill’s many friends could be here for this special ceremony.”

The College celebrated the progress of Heavener Hall with a special beam-signing ceremony Friday.

The College celebrated the progress of Heavener Hall with a special beam-signing ceremony Friday.

Heavener Hall is envisioned as a 50,000-square-foot building that will house all of the activities related to undergraduate business education at UF. The School of Business was renamed the Heavener School of Business in March 2012 in recognition of Heavener’s lead gift that launched an initiative—now at $38 million—to invest in undergraduate business education.

The initiative comes at an ideal time as the College’s undergraduate programs are growing in prestige and impact. The Heavener School of Business ranked 16th among U.S. public undergraduate business programs in U.S. News & World Report’s “2014 Best Colleges” issue and ranked 15th among U.S. publics in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2013 “Best Undergraduate Business Schools” edition.

Heavener Hall is intended to be a student-oriented building, with a professional, but vibrant and welcoming environment that showcases the accomplishments of current and former students while supporting academic and extracurricular activities. The new building will include small to medium-sized classrooms, an open Commons for studying and gathering, study rooms for four to six students, a large multi-purpose room, academic advising space, a technology assistance center, office/meeting space for Heavener staff, and a small café on the ground floor that will primarily serve lunch fare. Comfortable and technologically-advanced spaces will promote both individual and team-oriented learning, discussion, study, and informal interaction. Outside the building, a new hardscaped and landscaped courtyard will be created between Heavener Hall and historic Bryan Hall, and the “gateway” at the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street will be entirely redeveloped to provide a more open and pedestrian-friendly entrance to campus.

Heavener is CEO of The Heavener Company, and is on the boards of directors of multiple institutions of higher education including Full Sail University where he serves as co-chairman and CEO. Additionally, Heavener manages and holds interests in media production, Internet services, real estate franchising, publishing and banks. He is a member of the Warrington Business Advisory Council, the UF Foundation Board of Directors, the UF Alumni Association Board of Directors and is president-elect of the Board of Directors of Gator Boosters Inc. Heavener, a recipient of the UF Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2011, was named to the UF Board of Trustees in June.

The structure is being designed by Schenkel & Shultz Inc. of Orlando and Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York. Ajax Building Corporation of Tallahassee is serving as the project’s construction manager.