Heavener Hall is taking shape


People sign the ceremonial beam during a beam-signing ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction on Heavener Hall, on the UF campus on Friday.

Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.

Progress is being made on the construction of Heavener Hall, a big building on the cramped, busy northeast corner of campus where University of Florida business students will be able to study, work, relax and make lifelong connections.

Facts

ABOUT HEAVENER HALL

-- Cubic yards of concrete: 2,300

-- Tons of rebar: 140

-- Tons of structural steel: 395

-- Miles of wire: 37.9

-- Miles of conduit: 5.87

-- Bricks: 275,000

The $23 million, 56,000-square-foot brick building will house the undergraduate program of the Warrington College of Business Administration under one roof for the first time and provide 24/7 access for its students.

The building is named after James W. “Bill” Heavener, a 1970 business alumnus and CEO of Full Sail University in Winter Park, which entered into a business partnership with UF two years ago. Heavener made an undisclosed donation toward construction of the namesake building, with other private donations as well.

Heavener, his wife, siblings and children were present at a beam-signing and dedication ceremony on Friday. About 100 guests, including former UF quarterback Danny Wuerffel, were present as Heavener and others 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,” Warrington Dean John 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.”

President Bernie Machen said Heavener's contribution will help “send generations on a path” in life similar to the successful career Heavener has had.

Heavener said he was excited by the turnout for Friday's ceremony and glad to be “a small part” of helping the business college.

Heavener's contribution was the lead gift in a $38 million investment in undergraduate business education that includes establishing an endowment for professional development, leadership and business ethics, said Jon Cannon, executive director of development and alumni affairs at the Warrington College of Business Administration.

The new building is being built in the “Collegiate Gothic” style similar to Bryan Hall and other buildings in the historic northeast corner of campus at the intersection of University Avenue and 13th Street. An outer stairwell that had been added to the north side of Bryan Hall has been removed so that Bryan Hall will connect via a third-floor walkway to Heavener Hall, which will wrap around Bryan in an L-shape.

To make way for the building, 39 trees, including two large oaks and some magnolias, had to be cut down.

A landscaped courtyard will be built between the two buildings, and other improvements also will be made to make the northeast gateway at the intersection of University and 13th more pedestrian-friendly and prominent — including the addition of a wrought-iron gate.

Under the roof, Heavener Hall will be state of the art. It will provide enough space for the 2,800 undergraduates in the business school, and will have small- and medium-sized classrooms, an open common area for studying and socializing, study rooms, a technology assistance center, offices and meeting space for Heavener staff, and a small cafe on the ground floor.

“We are creating our own unique little campus with our courtyards,” Kraft said. “We are creating a unique environment where students can develop bonds for the rest of their lives.”

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