Imagine working or going to school in a building where all areas are spacious, filled with plenty of natural light, beautifully appointed and from which technology works seamlessly to support the learning environment. Such is the case for those working and learning at the new $114 million IVEY School of Business located at Western University, 1255 Western Road.
John Irwin (CFO Ivey School of Business), Barbara Robins (Rotarian)  and Kristen Rajnovich (Project Manager, Ivey School of Business)Under the guidance of John Irwin, who serves as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer and Vice-President of the Ivey Companies as well as the Director of Facilities for the Richard Ivey School of Business, London Hyde Park Rotarians and guests received an informative tour of his pride and joy on Thursday, March 20, 2014.
One immediately notes that John’s style is one of incorporating collaboration. He was quick to give credit for much of what we saw to his assistant Kristen Rajnovich, whom John hired seven years ago to be part of the team to bring the IVEY project to fruition.
Based on ‘must haves’, as agreed upon by faculty, staff, alumni and expert consultants, all Ivey classrooms are identical, whether at the main facility on Western Road, Spencer Conference Centre on Windemere Road, or in Toronto or Hong Kong where Executive MBA (EMBA) and executive development programs are offered. Classrooms reflect the need for all participants to be able to see one another, in order to facilitate discussion. Contrary to what many of us expected, the technology is not ‘over the top’. Expensive yes… but more importantly reliable and quiet.
Students gain entry to Ivey on a 24/7 basis via a digital pass card to study in the airy library, work on group projects within individual project rooms or simply to relax in one of the various student gathering areas. Accessibility is an understandable expectation when one considers that the cost of tuition for an HBA is $25,000 and an MBA is $80,000.
Principal benefactor Richard Ivey insisted that Ivey be built according to LEED gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards- a green point-based building rating system. The benefit of a LEED building is improved indoor environment, lower maintenance costs, higher corporate profile and reduced risk of remedial measures to deal with sick building syndrome or environmental contaminants. In addition, Mr. Ivey has provided the business school with its art collection that is strategically displayed throughout the building.
All in all, the evening tour of the new IVEY School of Business was a feast for the senses.