GVSU Seidman College of Business opens $40M center downtown


The L. William Seidman Center in downtown Grand Rapids is the home of GVSU’s Seidman College of Business. Courtesy GVSU

There’s a new-look business college in town.

Spring classes will start May 6 in the Seidman College of Business’s new L. William Seidman Center, located on the Grand Valley State University campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

The $40 million, 127,643-square-foot center is GVSU’s 16th LEED-certified building, said Bob Brown, project manager. Brown is expecting a silver rating, attributed to the building’s cost efficient and energy saving highlights, such as LED screens and a green roof.

“Right now we’re projecting about a 30 percent reduction in average consumption for a building of this size and use,” he said. “We also worked with Pacific Northwest Laboratory that works in conjunction with the federal government on programs to help facilitate an effort to try to reduce energy consumption.”

The four-story center will house the Small Business and Technology Development Center, as well as the Van Andel Global Trade Center, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Center for Leadership and Innovation.

The 3,000-plus business students in GVSU’s program will enjoy a state-of-the-art financial marketing trade room and cluster classrooms designed for team building. The new building is named after the founding chair of GVSU’s Board of Trustees and former FDIC chair.

“This is an awesome project,” said John Reifel, interim dean of the business college. “If Bill Seidman were alive today and saw what we’ve done here, he would be so proud of us. He would just love this building.”

State funding was not used for the project, he said. GVSU did an “incredible job” raising about $25 million from private donors, with the remainder coming through the sale of bonds and tax credits, he said, adding that the local community stepped up to make the building a reality.

With the possible exception of two new economists, Reifel said, GVSU does not plan to hire new faculty. But the new center will enjoy an enhanced relationship with the businesses community and the student population.

“The business community has been very helpful by providing internships for our students in many different fields. They provide scholarships for students and, of course, they employ many of our students down the road,” he said.

“Most of our departments have advisory boards from the community, so it’s an ongoing interaction between our functions and the business community.”

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