UMKC Bloch School hosts ceremonial groundbreaking for new building
Architectural team presents first public images of $32 million building to house graduate, executive and entrepreneurship programs
The University of Missouri-Kansas Cityand the Henry W. Bloch School of Managementunveiled the preliminary images of the Bloch School’s new building – the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation – at a groundbreaking ceremony March 8 on the UMKC Volker Campus, to a standing-room only crowd.
The building will bring to fruition a $32 million gift from Henry W. Bloch, the largest gift in UMKC’s history. During his speech today, Bloch mentioned his commitment to and his long association with UMKC, dating to being a freshman here in 1939-1940.
Inspired by travel to, and observations of, some of the world’s most innovative workspaces, the university’s leadership and architectural team’s goal is to create state-of-the-art space architecture. This aligns with innovative teaching techniquesthat will further elevate the Bloch School as a world leader in educating and training future generations of leaders in entrepreneurship, innovation and business management.
The building will house graduate, executive and entrepreneurship programs. BNIM Architects, in association with Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners, is designing the building, and construction is by JE Dunn Construction.
“The university, the Bloch School and the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation have had a year rich in accolades, including top national and global rankings for our entrepreneurship and innovation programs, research and faculty,” said Teng-Kee Tan, Bloch School dean. “Thanks to the generosity of Henry Bloch, the Bloch School will now have a model building in which to house our model programs.”
According to Tan, the building is a purpose-built facility aligned with innovative and experiential learning that will create future sustainability for the school and its programs. The building also will position UMKC as a destination think-tank for universities and foundations whose scholars and researchers are looking for the best minds and programs in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Some of the building features outlined during the March 8 program include a one-of-a-kind design-led innovation lab for brainstorming, simulation, concept design and ideation, and prototyping; a combined atrium and amphitheater in the center of the building; a behavioral research lab for academic and funded research projects and a 200-seat auditorium with seating and tables for group learning exercises.
“Henry W. Bloch had a vision for a truly exceptional business school in Kansas City– a school that would be an educational asset and also a powerful economic development driver for Kansas City,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “Henry’s vision has become Kansas City’s vision. The growth of the Bloch School into the top tier of global management education enhances and magnifies UMKC’s critical support for our community’s Big 5 goal of creating ‘the nation’s most entrepreneurial city.’”
Morton also lauded Bloch for his generosity in both time and treasure, citing the “simple and sage advice” Henry often gives to students, faculty and administrators.
“Our world-class school is headed toward a future of global impact and leadership in business education. To ensure that goal is realized, this entire community must commit to sustaining the progress we have already made,” said Henry W. Bloch. “So today I offer a new challenge. I challenge the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the city of Kansas City, and the state of Missouri. I challenge you to do what it takes to realize our dreams; to create the future that is within our grasp. Together, we have come so far. We have done so much. We must seize this opportunity and make the most of it.”
Pictured are preliminary architectural renderings of the southeast (above) and northeast (below) views of the proposed new Bloch building.*
*All content and images subject to approval of the Curators of the University of Missouri