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Plymouth State University in New Hampshire Working On $40M Renovation to Iconic Hyde Hall

Mon October 09, 2023 - Northeast Edition #22
Plymouth State University

Plymouth State is raising $10 million to complete the ongoing $40 million renovation of Harold E. Hyde Hall, the four-story center of the University’s business programs. (Plymouth State University photo)
Plymouth State is raising $10 million to complete the ongoing $40 million renovation of Harold E. Hyde Hall, the four-story center of the University’s business programs. (Plymouth State University photo)

Plymouth State University (PSU), located in the towns of Plymouth and Holderness, N.H., has started work on a $40 million renovation of Harold E. Hyde Hall, the 82,000-sq.-ft., four-story hub of the college's popular business programs.

To complete the project, PSU is working to raise $10 million to add to the $30 million already allocated to the school by the University System of New Hampshire.

"The overhaul of Hyde Hall will provide a more conducive setting for interacting with community and corporate partners, and potential future employers, which will enable our business students to gain a better sense of what the business world is like," President Donald L. Birx said in a Sept. 28 news release.

"With our new Finance Lab, we're placing a bit of Wall Street in Plymouth, [and with] our new Entrepreneurship Suite, students will have a slice of Silicon Valley where they can distill their creativity into the next big product," he continued. "This modern facility will enhance the experience for current business students, and it promises to grow the program as more students choose to enroll in our state-of-the-art business school."

Most of Hyde Hall's windows and climate control and ventilation systems have not been updated since it first opened in 1976.

According to PSU, the current renovations, slated to take place over the next two years, will significantly improve the building's energy efficiency and make much-needed improvements to the facility's infrastructure and technology, as well as the layout of the classrooms, allowing for smaller breakout rooms and professional conference rooms to host business partners, for example.

Work on the building's third and fourth floors began in May 2023 and will continue through the current semester. When students return to campus in January 2024 after the holiday break, crews are expected to complete the first phase and begin work on the first and second floors.

During the construction, faculty and students will be able to continue using the building, the university noted.

Popular Business Program Needed An Updated Hyde Hall

Hyde Hall is named for former Plymouth State President Harold E. Hyde, who became president of what was then called Plymouth Teachers College in 1951 and is credited for turning around a struggling school with dwindling enrollment by reinventing the institution as Plymouth State College, building the college's first liberal arts and business schools, and ushering in a successful period of growth before his retirement in 1977.

PSU's School of Business is now a leading-edge school of "applied business," which involves the study of how and why business decisions are made and how to scrutinize and revise existing business management strategies. This is particularly effective when incorporated into PSU's unique cluster learning model, which helps prepare career-ready students through an open and interdisciplinary approach to learning, with hands-on experience offered through community partnerships.

Beginning with the 2017 fall semester, the university switched to its cluster model with seven interdisciplinary areas instead of academic departments or colleges. They include arts and technology; education, democracy and social change; exploration and discovery; health and human enrichment; innovation and entrepreneurship; justice and security; and tourism, environment and sustainable development.

For the 2022-23 academic year, PSU had a total enrollment of 3,872 students (3,308 undergraduates and 564 graduate students). In addition, the university currently has 19 academic departments, with the most popular being business and education.

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