Grawn Hall fundraising underway, construction to begin in 2016

Emma Roy, a senior from Northville, Mich. and Shawn Welch, a senior from Milford, Mich. study before class, Thursday Sept. 10, outside Grawn 215.

Students in Grawn Hall will enjoy an additional 6,600 square feet of space to help create a more professional business environment by the end of summer 2017.

The renovation will cost approximately $10.8 million. Half of the cost will be raised through private source donations which will be matched by the Office of the President.

While the amount raised could not be disclosed due to the “significant amount of asks still outstanding," the largest donation for the entire renovation has been $500,000 from an anonymous donor, said Dean Charles Crespy.

Many donations have been more than $100,000, including a $200,000 gift donated earlier this month.

“I think we are on schedule. We are very happy with the funds we have raised and we have a number of spaces that we have already received funding for where we will recognize prominent alumni who have made major contributions to the university,” Crespy said.

The College of Business will continue fundraising until it reaches its goal, Crespy said.

"Historically the university supports these campaigns until the project is done," he said. "We are optimistic about our progress."

Developmental officer Sandy Sommer has a map on her office wall of the renovated Grawn Hall and specifically-identified spaces where donors wish to contribute. Plaques will be installed on the wall with donors' names.

The college has approached a variety of people to support the renovation. The decision process takes an average of two to three months.

“What we are doing is creating an environment where students are more likely to be spending time in school,” Crespy said. “It’s going to make it a lot easier for us to transition high school graduates into business professionals.”

To prevent construction from interrupting classes, renovations will take place during the next two summers.

Howell sophomore Josh Harrison said getting rid of the “old-fashioned feel” of the building may make it more marketable to business majors.

“The new update will make it much more appealing to business majors,” Harrison said. “After all, they do say that when you feel good, you do good.”

Hannah Rymal is excited to see the classrooms updated to help provide a better learning environment for students.

“With technology advancing so quickly, students have more tools available to them for success," said the Grand Haven senior. "Therefore, it is important for the renovation to capture that need."