Thanks to a $25 million gift from Montana State University alumnus Jake Jabs, a new College of Business building will provide roughly 1,200 students with a new state-of-the-art business building.

The site is east of one of MSU’s newest facilities, the Chemistry and Biochemistry Building, built in 2006, north of Wilson Hall, home of the University’s College of Letters and Science, and about 500 feet north of Montana Hall, the university’s main administrative building.

The College of Business building will cost nearly $18 million. The entire south side of the 45,000-square-foot building will be covered in windows. The windows will allow natural light to fill the majority of the new building’s rooms, offering a bright learning environment.

Here is a list of the most notable features being included in the building:

  • The building will be positioned to maximize the sun’s rays in the winter months to warm the building, and placed so the sun’s hot rays will not overheat the building in the summer.
  • Geothermal heat exchangers will be installed to help heat the building in the winter and cool it off in the summer.
  • Cool air at night will be circulated throughout the building to keep temperatures low during summer work hours.
  • Lighting, heating, cooling, water usage and other mechanical systems will be controlled by “smart controls,” which will ultimately reduce energy usage.
  • The building will limit light pollution with light fixtures that control the amount of light “spill” in order to maintain a dark night sky.
  • Solar panels and other renewable energy sources will provide a portion of the building’s energy needs.
  • Not only will the building be built with materials with a high portion of recycled content, the building will also incorporate materials from the Northern Rocky Mountain range.
  • The building will blend with the site by including large patios that open to the outside.

Jabs is a 1952 graduate of MSU and a native of Lodge Grass. Jabs is also president and CEO of American Furniture Warehouse in Denver, one of the top retail furniture companies in the U.S. and one of the largest privately held businesses in Colorado, with sales topping $330 million in 2008 and 1,400 employees throughout Colorado.

Dick Anderson Construction of Helena, Comma-Q Architecture of Bozeman and Hennebery Eddy Architects of Portland, Ore., have all been selected as the project’s design and construction team.

The new College of Business building is set to open in spring 2015.

Matt Rule can be reached at or 406-582-2651.

Michael Becker can be reached at or 406-582-2657.