McMullen Hall project addresses business college’s needs

Lindsay Steele
McMullen Hall at St. Ambrose University in Davenport is undergoing a major renovation to better serve the needs of the College of Business.

For The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University has begun construction on a major renovation of and addition to McMullen Hall. The project will expand the building by 15,600 square feet and provide a centralized home for the College of Business and its eight undergraduate majors and four graduate degree programs.

The $8.3 million project is scheduled for completion by August 2020. The building will remain open on a revised schedule for the remainder of the 2018-2019 spring semester and throughout the 2019-2020 academic year.

The hallmark of the new construction will be a two-story, light-filled atrium. Major design features will include six classrooms able to accommodate new methods of learning and teaching, as well as two computer labs, a finance lab, a sales lab, a co-curricular lab, a large tiered lecture hall, multi-functional classroom space and a student commons area.


Additional interior remodeling will provide an office suite for the dean of the business college and office space for its faculty and staff. The larger and more adaptive classroom spaces and labs will allow the university to better prepare business majors to work in a global business environment.

“In today’s competitive environment, we must be sure that the College of Business stays relevant, not only with the curriculum we offer, but the way we teach,” said its dean, Maritza Espina. “Moving the College of Business to the expanded and renovated McMullen Hall will strengthen our brand, our programs and the learning experience.”

Paul Koch, SAU provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the new McMullen Hall will expose business students to the kinds of advanced technology they will encounter on the job.

“The McMullen Hall project is much more than a new building for the College of Business,” Koch said. “It allows the university to provide active and engaging learning spaces like the state-of-the-art finance lab, which will provide students in-depth experience with some of the leading technology and software in use by professionals today. This will better prepare our graduates and give them a competitive edge in the workplace.”

Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of St. Ambrose, said there is great value in creating a central space where undergraduate business students and graduate students in the Doctor of Business Administration, the H.L. McLaughlin Master of Business Administration, Master of Organizational Leadership and Master of Accounting programs can see adaptation and innovation in action.

“Agility is not just for entrepreneurs,” she said. “A successful university must continually visualize and execute strategies that will improve the student experience and outcomes. It’s time to make McMullen Hall a place for business.”

The new addition’s design will match and complement the building’s original exterior. Bush Construction of Davenport is the project’s general contractor. Lead architect is Greg Gowey of Studio 483 Architects in Davenport.

Named in honor of university founder Bishop John McMullen, McMullen Hall opened in 1940 and served as the St. Ambrose library until 1995. The College of Business was created in 1987, when St. Ambrose formally became a university.

To learn more about the SAU College of Business visit

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