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USF buying Chamber building for business school

Statement as issued Monday by the University of Saint Francis:

Sept. 10, 2012 FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The University of Saint Francis will expand its downtown Fort Wayne presence with the purchase of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce building at 826 Ewing St. as a home for its Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership. A fall closing date is anticipated.

The purchase locates the business school near the USF Performing Arts Center at 431 W. Berry St. The university purchased the former Scottish Rite Center in January as a performance hall and as a location for its Media Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts (META) program.

“Locating the school of business near the USF Performing Arts Center supports the META program’s downtown momentum,” said Sister M. Elise Kriss, university president. “Since META intersects with business courses, locating the study centers near one another creates convenience for our students while partnering with the city to draw visitors to an enhanced downtown. The move also provides more space for the business school’s other programs and opens up main campus space for the School of Arts and Sciences.”

The chamber building has been for sale since 2010. The chamber is expected to remain in the building through the spring of 2013 while a search is undertaken for new office space in the downtown area.

“We certainly appreciate the historical significance of the Chamber building in so many of Fort Wayne’s business dealings over the past 84 years,” said Chamber President and CEO Mike Landram. “Selling the building to the University of Saint Francis is the best and highest use of the building in service to the business community. We couldn’t be happier with this arrangement. We’ve been preparing for this day for quite some time. It’s now time to evaluate available spaces within the downtown area that will allow us best serve chamber members.” Questions regarding the sale of the building can be directed to Landram at 260.424.1435 or mlandram@fwchamber.org.

The Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization with a membership of 1,700 northeast Indiana businesses. It supports economic growth through member business resources and facilitating strategic connections across business, education and government.

The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 60 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. It enrolls more than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.

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