Overhaul will improve facilities for business programs and pave the way for more community partnerships

Hyde Hall construction

Plymouth State University has embarked on a $40 million renovation of Harold E. Hyde Hall, the 82,000-square-foot, four story hub of the University’s business programs. PSU is working to raise $10 million to add to the $30 million already allocated by the University System of New Hampshire for the project.

“The overhaul of Hyde Hall will provide a more conducive setting for interacting with community and corporate partners and potential future employers, which will enable our business students to gain a better sense of what the business world is like,” said President Donald L. Birx. “With our new Finance Lab, we’re placing a bit of Wall Street into Plymouth, New Hampshire. With our new Entrepreneurship Suite, students will have a slice of Silicon Valley where they can distill their creativity into the next big product. This modern facility will enhance the experience for current business students, and it promises to grow the program as more students choose to enroll in our state-of-the-art business school.”

Most of the building’s windows and climate control and ventilation systems have not been updated since it first opened in 1976. The renovations, which will take place over approximately 24 months, will significantly improve the building’s energy efficiency and make much-needed improvements to the facility’s infrastructure and technology, as well as the layout of the classrooms, allowing for smaller breakout rooms and professional conference rooms for hosting business partners, for example. Work on the building’s third and fourth floors began in May 2023 and will continue through the current semester. When students return to campus in January 2024, after the holiday break, crews are expected to complete the first phase and begin work on the first and second floors. Faculty and students will continue using the facility during construction.

Hyde Hall is named for former Plymouth State President Harold E. Hyde, who became president of what was then called Plymouth Teachers College in 1951 and is credited for turning around a struggling teaching school with dwindling enrollment, reinventing the institution as Plymouth State College, building the college’s first liberal arts and business schools, and ushering in a period of growth. Hyde retired in 1977.

Hyde Hall
Caption: Plymouth State is raising $10 million to complete the ongoing $40 million renovation of Harold E. Hyde Hall, the four-story center of the University’s business programs.

PSU’s School of Business is a leading-edge school of “applied business,” which involves the study of how and why business decisions are made and how to scrutinize and revise existing business management strategies. This is particularly effective when incorporated into PSU’s unique Cluster Learning Model, which helps prepare career-ready students through an open and interdisciplinary approach to learning, with hands-on experience offered through community partnerships.

Through Cluster Learning, business students regularly audit New Hampshire companies acting as professional consultants, providing recommendations on business models, branding, and other business-related considerations. In one recent case, PSU students researched and developed several development proposals for 40 acres of wastewater lagoon property belonging to White Mountain Paper Company in Gorham, New Hampshire, for which the students received a commendation from New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. Business students annually pitch innovative products and services to local investors through a Shark-Tank-like event called Panther Pitch.

Hyde Hall renovation artistic rendering
Caption: Part of the ongoing $40 million renovation of Plymouth State University’s Harold E. Hyde Hall will include a Finance Lab, as seen from an overlook in this artist’s rendering, which will enable students to observe treasury yields, bond spread, and currency and stock market movements in real time.

The PSU School of Business includes various concentrations in accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and sales, and is home to multiple student organizations such as Enactus, the Marketing Association of Plymouth State (MAPS), Students in Professional Sales, and the Finance and Accounting Club. It is also the home to the award-winning PSU Professional Sales Institute, which is the largest sales institute north of New Jersey and east of Ohio and a top leader in collegiate sales competitions.