In Catholic University of America (CUA), the Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics currently occupies about 25 percent of McMahon Hall. While mostly centered at the heart of the campus, the school is split up all across CUA with faculty in six separate buildings and students taking classes in 10 different buildings. In order to create a more unified school, CUA is renovating the vacant Maloney Hall into one of the premier academic buildings in Washington, D.C. if not the country.
The business school hasn’t always been sequestered in a myriad of buildings. It hasn’t always been so large either. For over 50 years, the school was a department in the School of Arts and Sciences. It has only been a unified school at CUA since January of 2013. Prior to becoming a school, the department made up approximately 7 percent of the undergraduate population. The business and economics majors in the Class of 2019 now make up 23 percent of the freshman class.
Once the business school leaves McMahon Hall, CUA Assistant Dean of the School of Business and Economics Philip Brach said that he expects CUA’s graduate programs to move into the third floor of the building, where the business school primarily resides. He said he wasn’t certain, though, adding, “I don’t know if the university has decided yet who will move into the space.”
Constructed in 1917, Maloney Hall is otherwise known as the Martin Maloney Chemical Laboratory, named after the Philadelphia philanthropist and Catholic University benefactor. By the fall of 2019, the business school is expected to move into the Gothic-style property on the southeast corner of the campus. When completed, Maloney Hall will contain faculty offices, an information commons, 273-seat auditorium, and a chapel. The purpose of the chapel, which Brach says will be “the heart of the building,” is so that “kids understand ... that they can unify their faith and their work, that it shouldn’t be compartmentalized.”
There will also be a variety of classrooms that range from the traditional with the professor in front of rows of desks to the more modern with the professor in the center of the room with teams of students surrounding him or her.
“We’re preparing them for the workplace ... and the business world is more about collaboration and teams, so we want to create atmospheres in the classroom that foster that,” said Brach.
In order to create the best design for the 42-foot-wide, Gothic-style building, Brach said that a committee of faculty members as well as the architect of the project, STUDIOS Architecture, have been traveling the country, looking at best practices for academic buildings and teaching spaces.
Brach said that while the cost of the renovation will be around $17 million to $17.5 million, the schematic design is still being finalized and could end up reaching $25 million.
“We’re not going to spend more than that, but we don’t have the final numbers,” said brach.
Partially funding the renovation is a $15 million gift from the Busch Family Foundation, established by Tim Busch and his wife, Steph. Busch is the founder and CEO of Pacific Hospitality Group and The Busch Firm as well as the co-founder and chairman of the board of The Napa Institute.
For floor plans of Maloney Hall’s renovation, see the images below.
• Catholic University Receives $47 Million for Business School, Academic Programs [The Catholic University of America]
• Fostering a Vocation to Business [The Catholic University of America]