Throughout our organization’s history, our leaders have balanced taking risks with being good stewards of our businesses and our people. The MinnWest Technology Campus, located in Willmar, Minnesota, is the perfect example of this.
The campus has a proud history as one of Minnesota’s oldest, state-owned and operated healthcare facilities. Originally constructed in 1912, the charming stucco buildings display architectural details in the Spanish Colonial and Renaissance styles, which were popular at the time.
At the height of its operations, this historic healthcare facility provided hundreds of jobs, cared for hundreds of patients and created a strong foundation for our local economy. In 2004, the state began implementing changes to its healthcare delivery system that would eventually relocate or cut most of those jobs, leaving many of the buildings on campus empty and idle. Soon, the once-bustling campus was vacant and its future uncertain.
In 2005, as many were still grieving the loss of jobs and apparent waste of a once-flourishing facility, creative minds were at work. Behind the scenes, Life-Science Innovations and Nova-Tech Engineering leaders were busy discussing one of the most innovative, yet risky projects ever undertaken in our area’s business history. They began asking questions like…
Could this campus be given new life as a hub for business innovation?
Could the history of these majestic buildings be preserved and protected?
Could the cornerstone of our area’s economic stability be restored?
Yes, yes and yes!
In 2006, Life-Science Innovations and Nova-Tech Engineering purchased the 100-acre property, which is now called the MinnWest Technology Campus. Since the purchase, significant effort and investment has gone into to renovating the campus to attract other local area businesses, with the hopes of continuing to expand. Currently, over 680 employees work on the MinnWest campus, employed by companies in agriculture, technology, and more. Maintaining the buildings built over a century ago while taking risks and investing in the future of the campus, our organization and the community is a great example of Stewardship.