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Palm Beach Atlantic University Building 126K SF Business School Amid 'God-Sized Dreams' Master Plan

The Christian college plans to build a six-story business school that will include a 314-seat lecture hall and a stock trading room.

Palm Beach Atlantic University is expanding its campus going into 2023.

The Christian college plans to build a six-story, 126K SF business school that will include a 314-seat tiered lecture hall and a stock trading room, American School & University magazine reports. It will also include franchising and public policy centers.

Sections of the development area used to be the Quattlebaum funeral home, and Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker bought the West Palm Beach site in 2013 and donated it to Palm Beach University in 2018.

The expansion was funded by a $26M gift from the Rinker family and Rinker Family Foundation. University officials said in a statement that this is the largest single monetary gift the university has received in its 54-year history.

PBAU also announced it has raised $43M in donations to go toward the building’s $75M construction cost and has launched a capital campaign to make up the rest. It aims to break ground by August, contingent on raising sufficient funds.

The business school is the first project that will be developed as part of the campus master renovation plan, dubbed “God-Sized Dreams,” and will be named The Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Business Building.

The master plan includes a new health sciences facility, a performing arts complex, and a student and alumni welcome center. A recording studio, multiple classrooms and a new entrepreneurship center are also included in the plan. 

The Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Business Building will be located at 1199 South Olive Ave., the South Florida Business Journal reports. It will be designed by Foster + Partners of London and will be eight blocks away from where top out-of-town companies such as Goldman Sachs have relocated. West Palm Beach has become an appealing market for businesses, which has juiced its office market.

PBAU has 654 business students in 2022, a 24% increase from last year, and PBAU President Debra Schwinn told SFBJ she expects there to be more than 900 business students by 2025, when the new school is expected to open.