Encova Mutual Insurance Group is giving $2 million toward West Virginia University’s planned new John Chambers College of Business and Economics building, the university announced in a Friday news release.
The money will pay for a space in the new building for WVU’s BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the center will be renamed after Encova, the release said.
Encova is a joint venture between BrickStreet Mutual and Motorists Mutual insurance companies.
The release said the entrepreneurship center was founded in 2002 and, in 2013, the BrickStreet Insurance Foundation gave $3 million to name and support the center.
“One of the key things for Encova is to give back in the communities in which we work and live, and there’s nothing more important than partnering with colleges and universities throughout West Virginia,” said Greg Burton, Encova’s executive chairman, in the release.
Burton said, “We think it’s great to be able to work with and see students be able to go in, get help for ideas that they may have for the marketplace, and quite frankly, help create jobs and businesses in West Virginia.”
Javier Reyes, dean of the College of Business and Economics, said in the release that “Encova continues to be a tremendous asset as we move toward our new home at Reynolds Hall. This new space will be an excellent reflection of our commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship and will aid us in helping our students bring their visions to fruition.”
Reynolds Hall is the name of the planned $100 million new building for the College of Business and Economics. The college has committed to raising $40 million of that, and WVU spokeswoman April Kaull said about $27 million has been raised so far.
The new building will be on the former site of Stansbury Hall, known by many as “the old fieldhouse.” Completion is anticipated for April 2022.
WVU said the building will be about 177,400 gross square feet, including classrooms, offices, dining and recreation areas.