‘Vision becomes reality’ as Western opens the Richard Ivey Building

Ivey Business School Dean Carol Stephenson will be the first to admit the power of dreaming can indeed be powerful. And the new $110-million Richard Ivey Building, officially opened Monday afternoon, is proof of that.

“That dream is now a reality and the future is ours to embrace,” said Stephenson, who steps down as dean at the end of the month following 10 years in the position. “It became clear to us several years ago that we needed an inspiring, world-class facility that would reunite the Ivey community, spread over five different locations, if we were to continue to attract the best and brightest students and faculty.

“Today, that vision became a reality. The future belongs to our students.”

In what is a grand way to celebrate 90 years of business history at Western, the facility now brings together more than 1,500 students, faculty and staff under one roof. The new building, located across from main campus on Western Road, will reunite HBA, MBA, MSc and PhD programs and promote a strong culture of collaboration in the development of Canada’s future business leaders.

At the ceremony Monday, Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian leader of the International Space Station, delivered a keynote address to Ivey students, faculty and a select group of invited guests in Alumni Hall, before leading the group across the street to the new building.

“This building represents our past, our current accomplishments and our future aspirations. This building is essential to the school’s growth, the university’s growth and, more importantly, the growth of businesses in Ontario, across Canada and globally,” said Amit Chakma, Western president. “It is not just a landmark building for Western, but a symbol of global leadership to attract the best students and best faculty and to provide them with the best environment possible for learning, research and collaboration.”

The $110 million price tag was split four ways – $25 million in federal funding, $25 million in provincial, $22.5 million from Western and $37.5 million in private support.

But even beyond the price tag, the numbers associated with the building are staggering. First off, its 274,000 square feet of space almost doubles the old building, now called the HBA Building.

There are 112 faculty offices, 52 breakout rooms, 36 staff meeting rooms, 14 staff offices, nine conference rooms, eight open-concept work areas, seven lounges and six fireplaces. Students might find themselves in one of five 50-seat classrooms or one of 15 78-seat classrooms.

Nearly, 21,000 cubic feet of stone, weighing 1,570 tonnes, were used on the building. Each pebble from a quarry in Wiarton, Ont. The 53,000 square feet of glass on the exterior could cover 10 basketball courts and the 136,000 square-feet of carpet inside could cover almost 25 football fields. The 2,222 cubic metres of space in the Grand Hall could be filled with 38,000 kegs of beer.

And the BMO Financial Group Auditorium boasts a 300-inch stadium-style screen.

Thanks specifically to the Ivey family, and a $7 million donation, the new building will be an example of environmental sustainability, earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status. LEED is the leading green building certification system in North America, providing a framework for practical and measurable green building design and construction.

The Richard Ivey Building is the second building at Western to receive the Gold designation, along with Engineering’s Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion. The McIntosh Gallery earned LEED Silver.

“Facilities Management is proud to have the Richard Ivey Building as the second facility on campus to target LEED Gold,” said Mike McLean, manager of planning and design at Western. “In addition to water efficiency and energy savings measures, a number of initiatives were targeted to achieve LEED Gold.”

Sustainable initiatives include:

  • A cistern and piping system allowing rainwater to flush toilets, while specifically designed faucets, urinals, toilets and showerheads reduce indoor water usage by more than 20 per cent;
  • Drought-resistant vegetation and landscape design eliminates the need for an irrigation system, resulting in 60 per cent water savings;
  • A waste management plan diverted 81 per cent of construction waste from landfill;
  • More than 30 per cent of building materials or products were manufactured, extracted or harvested within 800 kms of campus; and
  • Windows and skylights provide light to more than 75 per cent of occupied spaces on all floors. This includes light wells that allow natural lights into occupied spaces of the basement.

“Our mother always inspired and encouraged us to support environmental causes,” said Richard W. Ivey, HBA ’72, in speaking of his mother, Beryl, who died in 2007. “As much as our family believes in investing in superb business leadership, we also believe that businesses, as well as governments and individuals, need to pay far more attention to the sustainability of this planet.”

Ivey added this “fabulous new building” will enhance the student experience for decades to come.

“Teaching and learning, as well as creativity, collaboration and hard work, all benefit from a space and place that functions superbly, looks great and perhaps even inspires,” he said. “This space sings of inspiration and is the perfect home for the best business school in Canada and one of the top schools in the world. We are thrilled that this world-class facility bears the Ivey name. It acknowledges the vision of my grandfather, Richard G. Ivey, who believed business education was a vital field of study for the 20th century.”

While donating more than $30 million to the school over the years, the Ivey family’s impact on campus, and in the London community, extends far deeper than financial support.

“The Ivey family has been our inspiration right from the beginning and I can think of no greater role model for our students,” Stephenson said. “The Ivey family embodies the business school’s mission, or perhaps, the truth is, the Ivey Business School embodies the mission of the founding family.”

IVEY openingPaul Mayne, Western News
Richard M. Ivey shares a smile with Carol Stephenson, Ivey Business School dean, at the opening the new $110-million Richard Ivey Building Monday afternoon.