A virtual groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, March 12, launched the construction of Virginia Tech’s Data and Decision Sciences Building, a new five-story Hokie-stone-clad structure that is the first of a four-building project known as the Virginia Tech Global Business and Analytics Complex (GBAC).
The approximately 115,000-gross-square-feet Data and Decision Sciences Building will house faculty and classes from multiple colleges, including the College of Engineering, the College of Science, and the Pamplin College of Business.
Its function is to bring together under one roof computer science, engineering, and data-related disciplines to provide opportunities for students, faculty, alumni, and even industry leaders to work side-by-side to address some of the world’s significant data challenges.
The Data and Decision Sciences Building’s features will include a multilevel commons area, team rooms in which students across disciplines can work together, specialized labs, and data visualization classrooms.
The Data and Decision Sciences Building is expected to be complete by 2023 and will define the gateway to campus from the northwest side, said Liza Morris, assistant vice president for planning and university architect at Virginia Tech.
“It will be a significant change to campus,” she said. “We will start to architecturally define that corner. It will start to shape campus as you approach from that vantage point.”
GBAC is one of the top six fundraising priorities of Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech. Major fundraising is ongoing to help bring the full project to fruition.
The state’s capital budget allocates $69 million toward construction of the Data and Decision Sciences Building.
“This is an exciting and important milestone for Virginia Tech, and the commonwealth,” VT President Tim Sands said during the virtual groundbreaking ceremony. “The Global Business and Analytics Complex exemplifies our Beyond Boundaries vision to prepare a new generation of leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs. Integrating business disciplines with data and decision sciences will create the kind of learning environment our faculty and students need in the era of big data.”
“This building will still be a hub for learning and discovery, not only for those of us who are based here in Blacksburg, but for our colleagues in Roanoke; in greater Washington, D.C.; and in Virginia Tech’s many other locations,” said Pamplin College of Business Dean Robert Sumichrast during the online groundbreaking.
— Written by Jenny Boone