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Extensive makeover underway this summer

RIT College of Business building
Renovations now in progress will be completed in time for fall classes.

The home of the new E. Philip Saunders College of Business will reopen this fall with a renovated main entrance and significant interior improvements.

According to James Yarrington, director of campus planning and design services, the outdoor facade of the Max Lowenthal Building will have a new look and indoor renovations will reconfigure classrooms and computer labs to make better use of existing space. Plans also include a large lecture theater space on the main floor, new study areas, lounges and vending, and a conference room with adjacent breakout area and kitchenette.

“Aesthetically, we are trying to let the life and excitement within the building become noticeable to people walking by, complementing the recent changes on the RIT landscape,” Yarrington says. “Basically, Lowenthal has good ‘bones,’ but always appeared to be hermetically sealed – sort of opaque and forbidding. Now its appearance will be airy, welcoming and inviting.

“We hope to leverage a relatively modest budget amount of $3.1 million to create a major positive impact on this 30-year- old facility,” Yarrington says. “The design calls for more transparency across the cast facade, with glass bay windows across the east and north sides of the building, and a new two-story main entrance with a canopy.”

Jerry Curnutt, assistant dean for administration, says the improvements will place the Saunders College of Business in a more competitive position with other business schools with updated facilities.

“We feel the improvements to Lowenthal will significantly enhance the community spirit within our business school by providing a physically attractive ambience where students can study and congregate,” Curnutt says.