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Pennsylvania IT firm purchases BTR Park location

by Cheryl Roland

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.

Photo of Weidenhammer employees in Reading, Pa
Weidenhammer Systems Corporation, Reading, Pa.
Weidenhammer, a Reading, Pa.-based company that specializes in management software for the education sector, has purchased the park's Granite Park I building, located at 4664 Campus Drive. Weidenhammer will move its current Kalamazoo staff into the site in December and expects to use the new site to move jobs from other company locations around the nation and to build a data center in the building to accommodate the cloud computing needs of its clients.

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.

Photo of Weidenhammer
In addition to its corporate headquarters in Reading, and the Kalamazoo location, Weidenhammer has Pennsylvania offices in Bethlehem, Lancaster and Philadelphia, as well as offices in Denver and Mesa, Ariz. The company employs some 200 IT professionals nationwide, and its clients include more than 1,000 school districts in 40 states.

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.