The University of St. Thomas' Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, 1100 LaSalle Ave., not only completes an expansion wave for the St. Paul-based school, it features a public cafeteria and some of the nicest stretch of skyway Downtown.
The recently completed building extends the skyway to the public parking ramp on South 11th Street & Harmon Place via the St. Thomas School of Law. Along the way, you'll find leather chairs around finished wooden tables and Food for Thought, the building's food court (see business news, page 6.)
The $22 million, 86,000-square-foot Schulze Hall is named for Best Buy founder and St. Thomas Trustee Richard Schulze, whose $50 million gift made the construction possible. St. Thomas will celebrate the new building Oct. 18 with a reception and tours -- open to the public -- from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
An Oct. 20 dedication ceremony featuring Microsoft Corp. founder and Chairman Bill Gates is invitation-only.
News Service Director Jim Winterer said St. Thomas footed the bill for the $875,000 skyway that spans 11th Street between Schulze Hall and the law school. From there, an existing skyway connects to the parking ramp at 11th & Harmon Place. To the north, Schulze Hall connects to the university's Terrance Murphy and Opus halls and Downtown's skyway system.
Schulze Hall features a circular, glass atrium facing 11th Street and the "Collegiate Gothic" architectural style common to the campus, which now occupies several blocks on the edge of the Downtown core near the Harmon Historic District.
St. Thomas' first Downtown building, Terrance Murphy Hall, opened in 1991.
Sharon Fischer, direct of administrative services for St. Thomas' Minneapolis campus, said no other expansion is planned for foreseeable future. Fischer said she's relieved. After the construction of four buildings in 12 years, "We need to play some catch-up," she said.