KPMG LLP is nearing completion on the exterior construction of the building in Orlando, Florida, that will house its future learning, development and innovation center, marking the occasion Wednesday with a ceremony honoring the construction crew and designers as the final beam was placed atop the structure.

The $450 million facility at Lake Nona in Orlando is scheduled to open in early 2020. It will ultimately contain 800 single-occupancy guest rooms, along with spaces set aside for learning and innovation, a 1,000-seat assembly hall, a separate social venue and a number of recreational amenities. DPR Construction was selected as general contractor, and Gensler is offering design and architecture services.

“Building on our culture of continuous learning and our nationally recognized learning and development program, the new facility will integrate leading-edge design and technology to help prepare our professionals to deliver new business models and breakthrough solutions for our clients,” said CFO David Turner, who attended the ceremony. “This project represents a significant investment in our exceptional professionals and the future of our firm.”

KPMG learning, development and innovation center in Orlando
KPMG learning, development and innovation center in Orlando

KPMG isn't the only Big Four firm with a large-scale training facility. Deloitte opened its Deloitte University complex in Westlake, Texas, in 2011.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, as the final beam was placed on the structure, KPMG vice chair of operations Laura Newinski thanked the crew for their hard work. “At KPMG, we are passionate about developing and advancing the extraordinary professionals who are the heart of our firm,” she said. “When our center opens its doors, thousands of KPMG professionals will visit every year to grow professionally, to connect with colleagues, celebrate our rich culture, and be inspired to deliver their best—building on a legacy for generations to come.”

All guests, including the construction crew, local officials and business leaders, and KPMG representatives were invited to sign the 50-foot stainless steel beam, which was placed on top of the structure during the ceremony. An American flag and a Southern Magnolia tree were included in the celebration, along with a KPMG Legacy flag. KPMG’s Family for Literacy will donate a book for every signature on the beam to a nearby Orange County school in need, and the tree will be planted on site to commemorate the milestone once construction is complete.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs planned to join the event to show their support for the project and KPMG’s decision to build its new learning center in Orlando. KPMG last week signed a White House pledge on expanding education and training programs and joined President Trump at a workforce event at Tampa Bay Technical High School.

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.