Grawn Hall to undergo $10.8 million renovation


The rendering of Grawn Hall's $10.8 million renovation shows the updated facade of the building.

To encourage students to spend more time in Grawn Hall, College of Business Administration Dean Charles Crespy proposed a $10.8 million renovation that was unanimously approved at the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday.

The renovations will add 6,600 square feet to the oldest building on Central Michigan University's campus. Construction includes a public space for a collaboration area, expanded space on the first floor, integrating the first and second floors and re-orienting the entrance. Corridors will be updated and fire suppression will be added. 

A cafe, atrium space and quiet room for reading and studying will also be added.

The College of Business Administration has more than $900,000 in commitments for donations to use on the renovations, and hopes to raise $5 million. The university will match donations to the project dollar for dollar. 

Plans for the renovation have been in discussion for about a year. The changes will be done in three phases of construction each summer and are scheduled for completion in 2017.

The goal of the changes, Crespy said, is to allow students to spend more time being productive in Grawn Hall.

"Right now we have the perfect facility for a 19th century education," Crespy said. "We would like students to spend more time in the college."

More than 4,000 business students attend classes in Grawn Hall every year. Crespy said renovations will make the building architecturally consistent, more inviting for recruitment purposes and more student-friendly, as business students often work in groups.

"The changes will improve collaboration," said University President George Ross. "They will allow students to engage with each other and faculty members."

Elwell senior Jennie Wernick said the changes are necessary. As a frequent visitor of Grawn Hall, Wernick often sits in a room between classes with three computers, several tables and a P.O.D. Express food area.

"We need more than just one room," she said. "This room fills up really fast, and there are only three computers. An auditorium would be nice for business presentations."

Because of traffic in the lounge area, Crespy often sees students lining the floors of the hallways between classes. 

"The facilities we have right now are not appropriate for what we have in mind for a quality education," he said. "The more time students spend in Grawn Hall, the better their resumes."


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Sydney Smith is a super-senior at Central Michigan University. She comes from metro Detroit ...

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