High-tech classroom to be new 'home to entrepreneurship' in Grawn Hall


Rick Barz swung the first hammer in construction of the new Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship Friday afternoon.

Isabella Bank recently made a $500,000 donation to the College of Business Administration. These funds sparked the creation of the IBIE, a facility to be used by entrepreneurship students in Grawn Hall.

Barz, Isabella Bank president and CEO, said he is pleased with the way Central Michigan University is using their donation.

Charles Crespy, dean of the College of Business Administration, said the new facility will cost about $960,000 and will open during the spring semester.

“We are very grateful,” Crespy said. “None of this would have happened without this generous contribution.”

Crespy said the new facility will be beneficial to CMU students.

“It will be a high-tech classroom,” he said. “The level of technology and the design, and the integration of the break-out rooms will give a new home to entrepreneurship students.”

Aside from high quality televisions and printers, the IBIE will feature nine break-out rooms. Crespy said these rooms will be helpful for simulating negotiations or group competitions.

Crespy said groups can collaborate in privacy and then communicate between rooms without disclosing their plan to competing groups.

Sandy Caul, a member of the Isabella Bank board of directors, believes the new facility will help students in the real world.

“(It will be) instrumental for students to get through the maze of the business world,” Caul said. “It will make them stronger and let them continue to evolve.”

Crespy said the facility will be particularly helpful to students participating in the New Venture Competition. This year students from Michigan Technological University will be able to compete with Central Michigan University students.

“We welcome the competition,” Crespy said. “The more we raise the bar, the more students respond. Our goal is to start new businesses to change the face of Michigan.”

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