Admins evaluate future of SOM facilities

Steinbach Hall, located at 52 Hillhouse Ave., currently houses offices for professors in the School of Management.
Steinbach Hall, located at 52 Hillhouse Ave., currently houses offices for professors in the School of Management. Photo by Tomas Albergo.

Before the School of Management moves to its new campus in December 2013, administrators are planning how best to repurpose the classrooms and office space that the school will leave behind.

The classroom facilities in the school’s main building at 135 Prospect St. will likely remain classrooms, some for use by Yale College, Deputy Provost for Academic Resources Lloyd Suttle said in a Wednesday email. One block over, the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs will move into Horchow Hall, the Tuscan-style mansion that SOM currently occupies at 55 Hillhouse Ave. To determine the future of the other SOM buildings, the Provost’s Office is forming a faculty committee to determine options for both the short-term and long-term, Suttle said.

“It’s a hodgepodge of interesting buildings that range from grand mansions to excellent modern classroom facilities,” Yale College Dean Mary Miller said.

The buildings could serve well as a “swing space” for departments located in facilities that require renovation, Miller said, adding that the Hall of Graduate Studies is an example of one building in need of renovation that will require short-term housing before construction can begin. Miller added that she has thought less about how the buildings could be used in the long-term.

The decision to move the Jackson Institute, which is currently housed in part of Rosenkranz Hall, was made during discussions between University President Richard Levin and Susan and John Jackson ’67 when a $50 million gift from the couple created the institute in 2009. James Levinsohn, director of the Jackson Institute, declined to comment on the future move to Horchow Hall.

SOM’s current facilities, which line Prospect and Sachem Streets and Hillhouse Avenue, span 110,000 square feet, less than half the size of the school’s new campus on Whitney Avenue. While SOM’s central building on Prospect contains classrooms, the Hillhouse mansions primarily house faculty offices.

Faculty that move into the vacated spaces may find infrastructural problems with the facilities, many of which were built in the 1800s, SOM professors said.

“The heating and the cooling system — that breaks down about twice a year,” said Ahmed Mobarak, an SOM economics professor who works in 55 Hillhouse. “And I’m not exaggerating that, it actually does break twice a year.”

Still, Roger Ibbotson, an SOM professor who works in the International Center for Finance at 46 Hillhouse Ave., said he is “happy where he is.”

“My office has wood paneling and built-in extensive wood bookcases and a corner with nice windows that you can see everywhere,” he said.

The new SOM campus will cost roughly $222 million in total.

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