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Concordia breaks ground on new academic building

More than 250 people gathered on Tuesday, April 24, to commemorate the start of Concordia University Wisconsin’s latest building project, The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center.

With state-of-the-art features, such as a functioning medical clinic and an incubator space for nurturing business start-ups, the approximately 41,000-square-foot academic building promises to be a place where entrepreneurial collaboration and healthcare innovation can occur together.

The three-story building is expected to be finished by fall 2019. Named after the Robert W. Plaster Foundation, the academic building will house Concordia’s thriving Batterman School of Business.

Concordia students studying healthcare will also be invited into the space. With half of CUW’s six academic schools devoted to healthcare disciplines, there exists a built-in opportunity to fuse business and healthcare learning.

Already Concordia has demonstrated its leadership in this area by leading multiple start-up or accelerator competitions designed to support participants who are developing innovative healthcare solutions. Concordia also annually hosts the Healthcare Economics Summit, which draws nationally recognized speakers including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the incoming president of the American Medical Association (AMA).

Features of the building include:

• Multiple classrooms, offices, and mixed-use rooms such as laboratories, work rooms, analysis centers, and public areas.

• A dynamic, cross-disciplinary “collaboratorium,” or incubator/collaboration space that will match students with educational mentors and successful community entrepreneurs to foster the launching of new products into the marketplace.

• A medical clinic that will model the consumerization of healthcare using free-market principles. The clinic will deliver top-notch healthcare while providing experiential learning opportunities for students. It will involve students in Concordia’s School of Health Professions and will be co-managed by faculty and students in CUW’s growing healthcare administration program.

• A home base for the Rx think tank, a consortium of Wisconsin business leaders who share a goal to consumerize healthcare by empowering consumers in transparent markets.