Grawn Hall renovations complete by Aug. 28

$10.8 million renovation includes the addition of a 6,000 square foot atrium with Student Services Suite, dining facilities


The front of the new atrium addition to Grawn Hall, under construction on July 20, 2017.

Grawn Hall's $10.8 million renovation should be complete before students return to campus Aug. 28.

The renovation includes the addition of a 6,000 square foot atrium to the west side of the building. When completed, the atrium will hold 11 new student study areas, an expansion to the Business Student Services Suite and a Which Wich cafe with dining facilities. Several faculty members from the College of Business Administration have agreed to periodically hold office hours in the atrium instead of Smith Hall. 

"I'm really looking forward to the idea of there being over 100 students here and a dozen faculty, so we can increase the student-faculty interaction. (That) is a big part of our competitive advantage at CMU," said Charles Crespy, dean of the College of Business. 

Mitchell Kukulka | Central Michigan Life

Crews completing construction in the new Grawn Hall atrium, on July 20, 2017.

The building project was approved by Central Michigan University's board of trustees for $10.8 million, with the university covering half of the costs. The rest of the funds have come from alumni donations, said Crespy. 

Construction began over spring break in 2016. Construction crews have worked only during spring and summer break periods to avoid interrupting students and faculty. 

"If we have faculty members sitting (in the atrium) everyday, it's a lot easier for students to approach them for questions and advice," Crespy said. "Our goal is to get another two or three hours of our students' time everyday. If we can encourage that, we've done a good job because we've gotten (students) more focused on business education, and spending more quality time with faculty."

The ribbon-cutting event for the atrium is scheduled for Sept. 21. The first major event to be held in the atrium will be a data analytics conference Sept. 22.

In addition to the atrium, the entire building was outfitted with an improved fire suppression system, and two second-floor classrooms were converted into public study spaces. An expanded patio area will also be located in front of the atrium.