Owen‑Ames‑Kimball Company (O‑A‑K), a preeminent general contractor with a longstanding presence in Southwest Florida, has completed construction on Lucas Hall at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). The new structure is the home to the Daveler and Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship.
Located on the campus of FGCU, the innovative building will provide breakthrough technical capabilities and opportunities for students focusing on starting new businesses. Lucas Hall also gives entrepreneurial students a long-needed home to collaborate with their classmates. In addition to new classrooms, the 26,638 square-foot building includes three floors with classrooms, workspaces, and offices built specifically to aid and inspire students working on new ventures.
Lucas Hall houses the FineMark National Bank & Trust Incubator geared to help students collaborate with mentors and share ideas in communal workspaces and private conference rooms. It’s a space built to help spark new ways of thinking and guide students toward success.
The Rist Family Foundation Maker Space helps students create products for their businesses with 3D printers, a laser cutter, and virtual reality development kits. Lucas Hall also features a media lab with state-of-the-art video equipment and lighting to capture great moments and success stories for the students.
Since 2017, Dr. Sandra Kauanui, founding director of the school, has built FGCU’s entrepreneurship program from a minor to major, an institute to a school. With more than 600 majors, the school is now one of The Princeton Review’s and Entrepreneur magazine’s top 30 universities for undergraduate entrepreneurship studies. The school also just launched a new graduate program.
“Lucas Hall is going to infuse an entrepreneurial and innovative environment across Southwest Florida,” said Kauaniu. “Owen‑Ames‑Kimball, Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects and Rowe Architects were extremely helpful and cooperative. We are delighted they understood our vision and built what we were looking for. We were also able to move in on time for fall classes.”
The O‑A‑K project manager and chief estimator was Abel Natali, O‑A‑K vice president. The job site superintendent was Scott Reynolds, and Ryan Propp served as general superintendent. The architect was John Prokop in a joint venture with Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Inc. and Rowe Architects, Inc.
“Building a home for shaping young entrepreneurs helps shape the business community in Southwest Florida, and the team at O‑A‑K is proud to be a part of that legacy,” said Matthew Zwack, president of O‑A‑K. “Working with FGCU and their staff has been a great partnership, and we’re proud to join in the effort to help create small companies and work for the school’s brightest business minds.”
Owen‑Ames‑Kimball, Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects and Rowe Architects were extremely helpful and cooperative. We are delighted they understood our vision and built what we were looking for. We were also able to move in on time for fall classes. - Dr. Sandra Kauanui, founding director of the school