Ottawa’s Sprott School of Business to get new home in $48M Wes Nicol Building


Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business will be getting a state-of-the-art, 100,000-square-foot new home in the heart of campus as early as 2020, the school announced Friday.

The university’s board of governors has approved construction of the $48-million facility, which will be named the Nicol Building in honour of well-known Ottawa entrepreneur and Carleton alumnus Wes Nicol.

Mr. Nicol, who died late last year, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton in 1954 before going on to found Tartan Homes. He later served on Carleton’s board of governors and in 2014 donated $10 million to kickstart funding for a new business school on campus.

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Sprott’s faculty is currently housed in Dunton Tower on Carleton’s west side and its students are scattered throughout the campus. Sprott interim dean Linda Schweitzer called the new building a “game-changer” for the school, saying it will bring all students and staff together under one roof and allow them to freely exchange new ideas and business concepts.

“It’s when you run into people that you have those ideas,” she said, adding the building is designed to stream everyone through a central atrium in order to encourage “serendipitous interactions” among students and faculty.

The university said it will launch a fundraising effort to cover the rest of the construction costs as part of its $300-million Collaboration Campaign. It said the new building will offer “enhanced learning, networking and collaborative spaces for students, faculty and staff” and will host “greater executive and management training offerings for business leaders.”

Ms. Schweitzer praised the decision to name the new building for Mr. Nicol, saying his 2014 donation was “the catalyst” for its construction.

Designed by Toronto’s Hariri Pontarini Architects, the six-storey structure will be located on Campus Avenue next to the University Centre, the Architecture Building and the new Health Sciences Building. Carleton said it expects construction to begin next year, with a targeted opening date in the fall of 2020.


Sprott’s new home will feature dedicated space for Carleton Entrepreneurs, an accelerator designed to help students from all disciplines launch and grow their own business ventures. It will also house initiatives such as the Sprott Student Investment Fund, an equity portfolio run by Sprott commerce and international business students.

The school offers undergraduate degrees in commerce and international business as well as master of accounting, MBA and PhD programs. Almost 2,600 students are enrolled at Sprott, which has 87 faculty and staff members.

The school was named in 2001 for Carleton alumnus Eric Sprott, a billionaire businessman and investor.

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