LaPenta School of Business Project
In fall 2016, Iona College announced plans for a new state-of-the-art facility for the LaPenta School of Business. The new facility will incorporate part of the existing Hagan Hall while more than doubling the space for classrooms, lectures and faculty offices.
“Iona College is committed to providing an unmatched student experience and to remaining a center for cutting-edge opportunities,” said Eighth President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. “This is a transformational project incorporating the historic Hagan Hall into the new building and our future.”
Artist's rendering of the exterior front view of the new LaPenta School of Business building, complete with glass atrium, after renovations.
The new home for the LaPenta School of Business is being made possible by the largest gift in the College’s history, $17.5 million from Trustee Robert V. LaPenta ’67, ’00H. LaPenta, who announced a $15 million gift to the College in November 2015, later added an additional $2.5 million matching challenge to alumni of 1975-1995, all part of the College’s historic $150 million Iona Forever campaign.
The facility will showcase the front of Hagan Hall, along with its iconic cupola, and will set it in an open glass atrium with views to the rest of campus. The atrium, or Grand Hall, will be a gathering space and a venue for larger events than can currently be accommodated elsewhere on campus. Along with state-of-the-art smart classrooms, case-study and breakout rooms, a business career center, quiet study space, and integrated faculty and administrative offices, the new structure will also feature an expanded and relocated LaPenta-Lynch Trading Floor, a LaPenta School of Business centerpiece since it opened in October 2011. In all, the project will more than double the space available in the existing facility. The LaPenta School of Business will be the first major academic building constructed in more than two decades.
Artist's rendering of the interior of the LaPenta School of Business building after renovations, showcasing students and faculty congregating in the open glass atrium.
January 2020 – Estimated Completion
September 2018 – Iona College renames the School of Business after Robert V. LaPenta.
July 2018 –College holds ceremonial groundbreaking for the School of Business Project.
June 2018 – College receives necessary approvals to move forward with building renovations.
April 2018 – Iona and the City of New Rochelle reach a comprehensive agreement that would allow the School of Business Project to move forward.
February 27, 2018 – City Planning Board approved a “scope” for the Generic Environmental Impact Study. The “scope” requires the College to study various options including restrictive covenants and deed restrictions, and the evaluation of Iona College properties along Beechmont and Montgomery being designated “historic” – to which the College has noted its objection.
January 30, 2018 – City held a public session to obtain comments on the Generic Environmental Impact Study (GEIS).
December 2017 - January 2018 – Iona representatives and City representatives conducted several meetings to review scoping of the GEIS.
December 1, 2017 – the College received notice that the City had reconsidered and rejected the matters agreed to in the November 3 meeting.
November 28, 2017 – New Rochelle Planning Board held a public hearing and mandated that Iona conduct a Generic Environmental Impact Study (GEIS) of its main campus and any potential future development plans prior to its voting on Iona’s application. See video from the planning board meeting (Note: Iona's presentation begins at the 1:25:27 mark).
November 2017 – Iona held community task force meeting with neighbors and City officials and City police.
November 3, 2017 – College representatives met with City representatives to discuss timely advancing of the application. The City and College came to agreement on several matters, including a potential commitment to not build residence halls in residential neighborhoods in perpetuity.
October 20, 2017 – Iona was notified that the Planning Board would not be able to commence the SEQRA review at the October 24 meeting. The Planning Board requested a Site Plan Application be submitted before it would conduct the review. The College submitted all requested materials to the Planning Board. The matter was rescheduled to be heard at the November Planning Board.
September 2017 – Iona learned that the New Rochelle Planning Board intended to take Lead Agency Status away from the Zoning Board of Appeals for the purpose of environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the matter was rescheduled to be heard at the October Planning Board.
Iona issued public hearing notices in preparation for a presentation before the Zoning Board of Appeals originally to be heard on September 5 and then rescheduled for October 3.
September 2017 – Iona held community task force meeting with neighbors and City officials attended without police representation.
September 2017 – Iona met with neighbors to present the design of the business school.
August 2017 – Iona’s application to the Building Department was denied due to height and FAR restrictions and Iona submitted an application for variance relief to the Board of Appeals on Zoning.
July 2017 – The College made the strategic decision to vacate Hagan Hall based on representations made by City officials at the June 2017 planning meeting.
June 2017 – City of New Rochelle and Iona representatives (with counsel for both present) developed a plan and timeline were for processing the variance application for the addition to Hagan Hall by the end of the 2017 calendar year.
May 2017 – City of New Rochelle requested additional information on the permit application.
April 2017 – Iona held community task force meeting with neighbors. Neither City officials nor City police attended.
March - May 2017 – Iona and neighbors met to discuss future building plans, property and neighborhood relations.
February 2017 – Iona held community task force meeting with neighbors. Neither City officials nor police attended.
February 2017 – Iona applied to the New Rochelle Building Department for the necessary permits in order to begin construction.
December 2016 – Discussions between Iona and City representatives ceased. As a result, Iona ultimately withdrew its petition.
December 2016 – Iona’s petition was adjourned to a subsequent City Council agenda.
November 2016 – Iona held community task force meeting with neighbors and City police.
October 2016 – Iona submitted a petition to change a zoning ordinance to enable the necessary variances required for the business school building. Iona scheduled to appear on December City Council meeting agenda. City officials committed that business school permitting would not be linked to property merger application(s) at all.
October 2016 – Iona met with neighbors to present the concept and design of the renovated Hagan Hall.
September 2016 – Iona representatives met with City representatives to review the approved concept and design. A planned timeline to advance approval of necessary variances was mapped out to occur during Fall 2016. City stated the project was de minimis and that groundbreaking on the building could occur in May 2017. During the same meeting, city staff repeatedly reinforced ongoing demands that the College provide confidential student information to receive the City’s cooperation on the needed business school permits.
September 2016 – Iona’s Board of Trustees reviewed and approved the concept and design of the building.
September 2016 – Iona held community task force meeting with neighbors and City officials and City police.
April 2016 - October 2016 – The College conducted meetings with City of New Rochelle officials to discuss zoning and building requirements and how best to achieve necessary permitting.
January 2016 – LaPenta challenged other alumni to join him in supporting the new School of Business building. In addition to his lead gift, he pledged an additional $2.5 million to match gifts from Iona’s classes of 1975 to 1995. This brought his total gift for the project to $17.5 million.
November 2015 – The College announced the largest gift in institutional history ($15M) from Trustee Robert LaPenta to fund the redesign and transformation of the School of Business.
September 2015 – Iona College publicly launched Iona Forever, the $150 million comprehensive campaign to advance student scholarship, accelerate academic innovation, and enhance key learning environments.