BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – Following four months of being closed for renovation work, The Mendel Center Grand Upton Hall officially re-opened on Wednesday during a grand re-opening ribbon cutting ceremony and open house, hosted in partnership between The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College and the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber.
While portions of the 14,400-square-foot venue have been updated over the years, this is the first ceiling-to-floor renovation since it opened in 1979. The $1.4 million investment in Grand Upton Hall is in addition to a $2.3 million energy upgrade and modernization project still underway throughout The Mendel Center.
“For 40 years, Grand Upton Hall has served as the focal point where our community has gathered to celebrate, learn, and conduct business. Making this investment ensures that businesses, organizations, and community members can continue to depend on this important community resource to advance the quality of life here in Southwest Michigan,” stated Lake Michigan College President Dr. Trevor Kubatzke.
Grand Upton Hall improvements include ceiling, wall, and door finishes; carpet; room dividers for improved safety and sound proofing; distributed HD video system and projectors; hearing assist system; electrical systems and controls; HVAC improvements; and a newly poured concrete sidewalk entryway. Project oversight was handled by general contractors Miller-Davis of Kalamazoo.
Executive Director of The Mendel Center Mike Nadolski explained during his remarks why the updates are good for the region.
“The economic impact of Grand Upton Hall, and The Mendel Center as a whole, on our area is sizable. Each year, we welcome more than 100 events and 25,000 guests into Grand Upton Hall alone,” Nadolski stated. “The modernized look and functionality of the space will enhance every event held here. And, as the largest, multipurpose indoor event space in the region, event planners will have more reasons to consider choosing Southwest Michigan for their events with our fresh, new look.”
During the ceremony, LMC recognized the important contributions of two major donors that directly supported Grand Upton Hall renovations.
“The support of the American Electric Power Foundation and Frederick S. Upton Foundation has been crucial to making this project a reality. Their commitment to our community and the College will benefit tens of thousands of people every year well into the future,” state Kubatzke. “We thank them for helping to make the renovation a reality.”
The newly renovated Grand Upton Hall has already opened its doors to a College Night event hosted by LMC that attracted more than 500 high school students and their parents earlier this week, as well as a private business event for 450 people last weekend.
Nadolski added that news about the updates is already gaining attention with calls coming in from several new clients looking to book the venue.
Public and private events typically hosted in Grand Upton Hall include banquets, wedding receptions, trade shows, business meetings, lectures, concerts, fundraisers, holiday parties, class reunions, and family celebrations. LMC also uses the space for a variety of College events including commencement activities, student award ceremonies, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast, the Winner’s Circle Auction, and LMC Day activities for faculty and staff.
For information about hosting an event at The Mendel Center, contact Mark Sumney at 269-927-8609, or visit www.TheMendelCenter.com.