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Drexel U. ‘Tops Off’ Construction of Its New Business School

(A steel beam, adorned with a Drexel banner and a small ceremonial evergreen tree, is hoisted into position during a "topping off" ceremony on the Drexel campus.  Credit: Pat Loeb)

(A steel beam, adorned with a Drexel banner and a small ceremonial evergreen tree, is hoisted into position during a “topping off” ceremony on the Drexel campus. Credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The final beam was placed today atop a new high-rise on Market Street in West Philadelphia that will house Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business.

The $90-million project comes amid new scrutiny of the building boom on college campuses and how it impacts tuition.

There was a confetti cannon and champagne toasts as construction workers hoisted a beam for the traditional “topping out” ceremony this morning at 32nd and Market Streets, greeted by the assembled guests with great enthusiasm.

Tuition watchdogs have become less enthused about the seeming nonstop expansion on campuses. Pennsylvania state legislator Brad Roae has introduced a bill that would halt building at state-owned universities.

Most for-profit colleges stress online learning, but LeBow’s acting dean, Frank Linnehan, says there’s no replacement for face-to-face learning.

linnehan frank thumb  loeb Drexel U. Tops Off Construction of Its New Business School

(Drexel business school acting dean Frank Linnehan. Credit: Pat Loeb)

“We’re also looking at new ways to teach in buildings like this,” Linnehan (right) said today. “It’s no longer that professor in front of 200 students, it’s students learning in small groups, accessing data, accessing information.”

Linnehan says the building, along with another construction project transforming the block of Chestnut Street between 32nd and 33rd, will become an “innovation neighborhood” model of learning.

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