Oct. 30, 2011 | WMU News
KALAMAZOO--A leading IT service provider for the nation's schools is the newest corporate partner at Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park.
Granite Park I, built in 2003, is already home to five other IT firms, including BlueGranite, which built and originally owned the building. The presence of those companies had a positive impact on Weidenhammer's decision to buy the building, and the firm closed on the deal earlier this month.
"We were very attracted by the fact that there were other IT firms in the building," says John P. Weidenhammer, president, noting the building is set up so occupants can share common amenities such as conference rooms and break areas. "We believe this offers the potential for a great collaborative environment."
Weidenhammer also states his firm's enthusiasm extends beyond the building and park to the entire community. "We see Kalamazoo as a community that's both rich in amenities and a people-friendly place. It's also a cost-effective place for us to do business."
Weidenhammer's Kalamazoo office now has 20 professional staff members and the expectation is to add about 10 more positions in the coming years.
In Michigan since 2004, the company has a Kalamazoo team focused on building extensions to Weidenhammer's software suite that is aimed at enhancing school operations in the K-12 environment.
Weidenhammer has an extensive history working with universities such as Alvernia University, Lincoln University, and Albright College, including hiring interns from those schools. The Kalamazoo office already has worked with WMU interns and that tradition will continue and expand to include business, IT and marketing interns at the new BTR Park office.
WMU's Business Technology and Research Park focuses on the life sciences, advanced engineering, and information technology. The park shares the University's 265-acre Parkview Campus with the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Launched in late 1999, the BTR Park is home nearly 40 companies directly employing some 700 people.