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LSBE Building Unveiled

UMD held groundbreaking ceremonies for the $23 million Labovitz School of Business and Economics building on July 26. The state-of-the-art center for business education will be the first new public higher education building in the state of Minnesota to be a LEED certified “Green Building”

Minnesota Legislature included $15.3 million for a new UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics building in the capital bonding bill.

The building will provide faculty, administrative and student support offices. It will also include general-purpose classrooms, specialized academic teaching laboratory spaces and a large lecture hall. Conference rooms and student gathering/study space will also be available within the building. Photos: Rendering by architects Perkins+Will.

The project, which is is partially funded by a generous $4.5 million gift from Duluth natives Joel and Sharon Labovitz, is planned to be 65,000 gross square feet. This is about 1.5 times the size of the current School of Business and Economics.

The new classrooms will facilitate a variety of teaching methods supported by appropriate technology. The total project cost of the facility will be $23 million. Some University funds will also be used for the construction. Project architects Perkins+Will, including the chief designer, Ralph Johnson, involved the Labovitz School Building Committee, faculty, and staff in the design of the new building. Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin, Vice Chancellor Greg Fox and John Rashid from UMD Facilities Management were also involved in the planning.

LSBE Dean Kjell Knudsen said, "We are extremely pleased that Sharon and Joel Labovitz and their family are happy with the design, and we remain grateful to them for giving us this wonderful opportunity to have a new building."


The new building has LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status. It is the first higher education building in Minnesota to meet the rigourous standards.Green buildings today cost no more to construct than standard buildings thanks to lower materials and technologies costs, much greater availability of green building products. significantly lower energy consumption and costs compared to standard buildings. The LSBE building will use less energy than standard buildings of comparable size.

About Joel and Sharon Labovitz

Joel Labovitz, a 1949 UMD graduate in business administration, is a senior fellow at the University. Beginning in 1984, he created and taught a course on entrepreneurship to graduating seniors and graduate business students. Joel Labovitz is currently chairman of Duluth-based Labovitz Enterprises. Sharon Labovitz, also a Duluth native, has been active in the Junior League, public television and the Depot foundation.

About the Labovitz School of Business and Economics

The Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) offers the Bachelor of Accounting degree (B.Ac.) and the Bachelor of Business Administration degree (B.B.A.). The majors available within the B.B.A. program are as follows: Finance, Health Care Management, Human Resources Management, Management Information Systems, Organizational Management, and Marketing. An Economics major is also offered. An MBA degree is offered both in Duluth and Rochester. LSBE has 44 full-time faculty, 1800 undergraduate students and 70 graduate students and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - International.

UMD Recent Building Projects Include:
Library, $26 million, open 2000
Weber Music Hall, $9.2 million, open 2002
Kirby Plaza, $20 million, open 2004
James I. Swenson Science Building, 33 million, open 2005
Sports and Health Center Addition $13 million, open 2006
Life Science Renovation, $15 million, open 2006
Labovitz School of Business & Economics $23 million, planned opening 2008
Bagley Environmental Classroom, planned opening 2009
Civil Engineering Building, planned opening 2010

Written by Cheryl Reitan

UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,
NEW RELEASES, UMD media contact, Susan Latto,, 218-726-8830

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