MSU board gives go-ahead for College of Human Medicine Secchia Center

Contact: Geri Kelley, College of Human Medicine, (616) 233-1678, cell (616) 350-7976, geri.kelley@hc.msu.edu; or Tom Oswald, University Relations, (517) 432-0920, cell (517) 281-7129, oswald@msu.edu

Oct 26, 2007

EAST LANSING, Mich. —The Secchia Center, the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s future Grand Rapids home, took one step closer to reality today as the MSU Board of Trustees voted to move the project forward.

At its monthly meeting, the board gave the university the “authorization to proceed” with the project. The authorization included a project budget of approximately $90 million, as well as approval of the design concept.

The facility is named in honor of Ambassador Peter F. Secchia, an MSU alumnus, long-time supporter of the university and former U.S. ambassador to Italy (1989 to 1993).

The seven-story, 180,000-square-foot facility will include teaching laboratories, classrooms, offices and student areas. It will be located in downtown Grand Rapids, at the corner of Michigan Street and Division Avenue, across from the Van Andel Institute and Spectrum Health.

In 2008, MSU College of Human Medicine second-year students will begin studies in a leased facility in Grand Rapids. The college plans to enroll its inaugural class of 100 first-year students in Grand Rapids in 2010, when the new facility opens. Once the program is at full capacity, enrollment in Grand Rapids will be approximately 350 students.

Later today, MSU officials, West Michigan business leaders, fundraising campaign cabinet members, health care partners and others will gather at Grand Rapids’ JW Marriott Hotel to view new and more detailed architectural renderings of the Secchia Center.

“This is an exciting day for MSU, our partners and the West Michigan Community as we further refine the vision for our signature medical education building, the Secchia Center,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “This facility and the activities it will allow will improve medical education, and ultimately patient care, throughout Michigan and will raise this region’s profile as a destination for world-class health care.”

The project delivery team for the Secchia Center includes Ellenzweig Associates, Inc., from Cambridge, Mass., design architect; URS Corporation/Health, from Grand Rapids, project management, engineering and architect of record; and The Christman Co., from Grand Rapids, construction manager.

“The Secchia Center will be a striking new presence on the Grand Rapids skyline, joining a distinguished architectural landscape,” said Michael Lauber, president of Ellenzweig Associates and principal-in-charge for the Secchia Center. “Since a major goal for the building design was to help create a community of learners, the building is organized around a four-story, light-filled atrium that will provide multiple opportunities for interaction and serve as a social center for students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

“I am especially pleased with how this building embodies the way in which we value community,” said Marsha D. Rappley, dean, MSU College of Human Medicine.“It captures the traditions and values of the past, as well as the excitement and opportunity of the future.”

A number of West Michigan partners have joined MSU in this endeavor, including Spectrum Health, Saint Mary’s Health Care, the Van Andel Institute, Grand Valley State University, and Grand Action, a not-for-profit organization that works to identify and support downtown Grand Rapids building and revitalization projects.