College of
Human
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MSU Grand Rapids Research Center Phase I Project Updates

2018 Video

Moving into the GRRC: December 2017

Andre Bachmann, PhD, professor, Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, shares his experience as the first MSU College of Human Medicine researcher to move his team’s laboratory and equipment into the new Grand Rapids Research Center. Move-in continues for the 26 MSU research teams transferring from labs at Van Andel Institute and Grand Valley State University.

$88.1M Grand Rapids Research Center opens doors to medical discovery: September 20, 2017

A new era for scientific discovery was unveiled September 20, 2017, during a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Michigan State University’s $88.1 million Grand Rapids Research Center.

The six-story, 162,800-square-foot facility will initially accommodate 33 principal investigators and their research teams, with space eventually to house 44 research teams. Twenty-five MSU College of Human Medicine researchers and their teams currently housed in the Van Andel Institute will move into the new research center later this fall.

PROJECT UPDATE: September 14, 2017

Construction Time Lapse: March 2015 - July 2017

PROJECT UPDATE: August 14, 2017

Asgi Fazleabas, PhD, University Distinguished Professor and Associate Chair of Research, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, discusses his research, dreams and excitement about the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center and how it will impact the future of women's health.

PROJECT UPDATE: July 17, 2017

Dean Norman Beauchamp Jr. and special guest Peter Jones, Van Andel Research Institute's (VARI) Chief Scientific Officer, discuss the history of the great partnership between MSU College of Human Medicine and VARI, as well as the positive impact the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center will have, as collaborations between the organizations continue to thrive.

PROJECT UPDATE: June 15, 2017

Dean Norman Beauchamp Jr. welcomes Department Chair Richard Leach, MD, and researchers Asgi Fazleabas, PhD, Lee Anne Roman, PhD, and Karen Racicot, PhD, from the MSU College of Human Medicine Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. Together they discuss their work and excitement about the opening of the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center.

PROJECT UPDATE: May 15, 2017

Dean Norman Beauchamp Jr. welcomes Jack Lipton, Chair of the MSU College of Human Medicine Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine, to discuss his team's work and the additional opportunities provided by the Grand Rapids Research Center.

PROJECT UPDATE: April 12, 2017

Steve Heacock, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Research at Spectrum Health, discusses collaborations with Michigan State University, the importance of tying together research and patient care, and how the Grand Rapids Research Center fulfills this vision.

PROJECT UPDATE: March 13, 2017

Dean Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS, speaks to the importance of having a great project director for building a research center of this magnitude, while Project Director Dick Temple discusses the construction progress of the Grand Rapids Research Center.

PROJECT UPDATE: FEBRUARY 13, 2017

Dean Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS, congratulates Peter F. Secchia for his and Rich Devos' award from the Grand Rapids Business Journal. Secchia and Beauchamp then discuss the importance of the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center and how community collaboration makes everything possible.

PROJECT UPDATE: JANUARY 12, 2017

PROJECT UPDATE: January 3, 2017

Construction for the Grand Rapids Research Center continues on time and on budget. Watch for an update next week from College of Human Medicine Dean Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS.

PROJECT UPDATE: May 23, 2016

More than 100 Clark-Rockford construction workers received new work boots as Wolverine brought its national Project Bootstrap campaign to the downtown MSU Grand Rapids Research Center construction site. Wolverine outfitted all crew members on the site with free Wolverine work boots and apparel, as well as other giveaways and breakfast.

PROJECT UPDATE: May 6, 2016

Gifts of $15 million - $10 million from Richard and Helen DeVos and $5 million from Peter and Joan Secchia - will help construct the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center. 

“Michigan State’s research enterprise is ushering in a whole new era of medical discovery and there is no place we’d rather see that happen than Grand Rapids,” said Rich DeVos. “Helen and I are proud to be a part of it.”

Peter Secchia notes that the addition of a Big Ten research facility in Grand Rapids creates a new level of opportunity that he believes will move the economic needle in West Michigan.

“MSU is a proud member of the Big Ten’s Committee on Institutional Cooperation, which is responsible for more than $10 billion in funded research — far more than the Ivy League’s $4.3 billion. The center will help to tap into this network on a deeper level and expand the medical research agenda. It will be a magnet to attract business in the life sciences and growth in biotechnology. Joan and I are really excited to be a part of it,” Secchia said.

Construction for the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center continues to be on time and on budget. The center is expected to open late 2017.

PROJECT UPDATE: January 3, 2017

Construction for the Grand Rapids Research Center continues on time and on budget. Watch for an update next week from College of Human Medicine Dean Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS.

PROJECT UPDATE: May 23, 2016

More than 100 Clark-Rockford construction workers received new work boots as Wolverine brought its national Project Bootstrap campaign to the downtown MSU Grand Rapids Research Center construction site. Wolverine outfitted all crew members on the site with free Wolverine work boots and apparel, as well as other giveaways and breakfast.

PROJECT UPDATE: May 6, 2016

Gifts of $15 million, $10 million from Richard and Helen DeVos and $5 million from Peter and Joan Secchia, will help construct the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center. 

“Michigan State’s research enterprise is ushering in a whole new era of medical discovery and there is no place we’d rather see that happen than Grand Rapids,” said Rich DeVos. “Helen and I are proud to be a part of it.”

Peter Secchia notes that the addition of a Big Ten research facility in Grand Rapids creates a new level of opportunity that he believes will move the economic needle in West Michigan.

“MSU is a proud member of the Big Ten’s Committee on Institutional Cooperation, which is responsible for more than $10 billion in funded research — far more than the Ivy League’s $4.3 billion. The center will help to tap into this network on a deeper level and expand the medical research agenda. It will be a magnet to attract business in the life sciences and growth in biotechnology. Joan and I are really excited to be a part of it,” Secchia said.

Construction for the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center continues to be on time and on budget. The center is expected to open late 2017.

PROJECT UPDATE: November 19, 2015

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine celebrates a construction milestone  as the last construction beam was hoisted during a "topping off" ceremony. The Clark-Rockford construction crew and MSU researchers looked on as the beam was placed. The ceremony celebrated 25 weeks of construction safety.

PROJECT UPDATE: November 6, 2015

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is awarding a state Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category grant to the City of Grand Rapids and MDOT to address traffic flow issues along Medical Mile, near the MSU College of Human Medicine's Secchia Center on Michigan Street and the new MSU Grand Rapids Research Center, now under construction, east of Monroe Avenue in Grand Rapids. MSU will invest $88 million to build the new biomedical research facility and create 130 new jobs, in addition to retaining 80 current employees.

To accommodate the additional traffic generated by the new facility and to help alleviate existing traffic flow issues in the area, the City of Grand Rapids and MDOT will improve the freeway ramp configurations at Ionia and Ottawa avenues with I-196, and modify the US-131 Business Route (Division Avenue)/Newberry Street intersection. Other work includes reconstructing Michigan Street and Newberry Street.

"The City of Grand Rapids and MDOT have been excellent partners as we've moved through the planning and construction for the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center," said Vennie Gore, vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises, MSU. "We continue to be impressed with their commitment to the Medical Mile partners and the community in improving traffic flow throughout the corridor."

The total cost of the project is $6,171,966, including $1,570,154 in TEDF funds and an estimated $4,601,812 from the City of Grand Rapids and the MDOT Grand Region, pending final design approval.

PROJECT UPDATE: June 18, 2015

Ground was broken for the new Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center June 18, 2015. 

  • The Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center will anchor the Innovation Park on West Michigan’s Medical Mile, as it is situated just west of the College of Human Medicine’s Secchia Center medical education building and MSU’s nearby partners – the Van Andel Institute, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Spectrum Health and Grand Valley State University’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences – and is less than two miles from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.
  • The MSU Grand Rapids Research Center will support a capacity of 260 members of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s scientific research teams, including as many as 44 principal investigators and their labs.
  • Some of the areas of scientific study will include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, pediatric neurology, autism, inflammation, transplantation, cancer, genetics and women’s health and reproductive medicine.
  • The 162,800-square-foot research center will be six stories high, with a seventh floor “penthouse,” a roofed corridor for service equipment.
  • The budget for the project is $88.1 million, including demolition. Funding for the new research center will be provided through gifts, the MSU general fund and tax exempt financing with debt repayment from a variety of sources, including the general fund.
  • The project delivery team includes a joint venture of Clark Construction Company, from Lansing, and Rockford Construction, from Grand Rapids, as construction manager; SmithGroupJJR, from Detroit, engineering and architect of record; and Ellenzweig, from Cambridge, Mass., laboratory planner and design architect.
  • The new research center is located at the site of the former Grand Rapids Press building. Demolition contractor for the building was Pitsch Companies from Grand Rapids, with demolition beginning March 1.

  • Construction began mid June with concrete placement followed by structural steel installation this fall.
  • The new research center will occupy a parcel of land roughly half of the site; in future months, Michigan State University plans to engage public private partnership (P3) developers in discussions about complementary projects for the remainder of the site that could further enhance MSU’s vision for medical education and commercialization of science.
  • The new MSU Grand Rapids Research Center is planned to open late 2017.

MSU Board of Trustees authorizes Grand Rapids Biomedical Research Center: February 6, 2015

Michigan State University Board of Trustees authorized the MSU administration to expand MSU’s research capabilities in Grand Rapids by constructing a biomedical research facility on the site of the former Grand Rapids Press building.

  • The MSU Board of Trustees resolution for the project entitled “Grand Rapids – Real Estate and Research Facility Development” included a budget of $85.1 million for a new building on the northeast corner of Monroe Avenue and Michigan Street in downtown Grand Rapids. The combined budget, along with demolition of the Grand Rapids Press building approved by the MSU Board of Trustees in December 2014, is $88.1 million.

  • The project involves construction of an approximately 160,000 square foot, multi-story research building.

  • MSU will follow its traditional, university-financed model for delivery of the highly specialized biomedical research center as the assessment of the previous public-private partnership (P3) proposals did not yield a compelling, value-added benefit for the university to pursue a developer-financed delivery option.

  • The biomedical research building will occupy about half of the parcel, offering the university future opportunities to engage P3 developers in discussions about complementary projects that could further enhance MSU’s vision for medical education and commercialization of science.

  • The project delivery team includes a joint venture of Clark Construction Company, from Lansing, and Rockford Construction, from Grand Rapids as construction manager; SmithGroupJJR, from Detroit, engineering and architect of record; and Ellenzweig, from Cambridge, Mass., laboratory planner and design architect.

  • Demolition of the former Grand Rapids Press building is scheduled to begin in March 2015, with construction following.

  • The new MSU Grand Rapids Biomedical Research Center is planned to open late 2017.

MSU Board of Trustees authorizes demolition of former Grand Rapids Press building: December 12, 2014

Michigan State University Board of Trustees has authorized the MSU administration to proceed with demolition of the former Grand Rapids Press building located in downtown Grand Rapids on property the university acquired in 2012.

The building to be razed is on a site of approximately 4.3 acres, positioned immediately west of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s Secchia Center.

  • The budget for this project (demolition) is $3 million. 

  • Funding will be provided through the university’s general fund and tax-exempt financing with debt repayment from a variety of sources including the general fund. 

  • Demolition is scheduled to begin in March 2015, with final completion of demolition by December 2015.

  • At a future MSU Board of Trustees meeting this winter, the MSU administration plans to recommend construction of the Grand Rapids Biomedical Research Center on a portion of this site. 

  • The remainder of the site may be divided into parcels for future development by the university and/or private developers.

  • Pending approvals, the new Grand Rapids Biomedical Research Center is planned to open late 2017.

Public private partnership proposal evaluation: August 1, 2014

Michigan State University has received three proposals for its planned biomedical research center in Grand Rapids from the public-private partnership (P3) firms identified through a previous selection process and RFP issued in June.

  • The evaluation is a multi-step process. After initial analysis by MSU’s project review committee, a team of outside experts will evaluate financial, technical, investment and real estate development components, providing a summary of strengths and weaknesses for broader consideration.

  • “This laboratory design and environmental construction is highly specialized to meet the stringent quality standards for MSU’s NIH-funded scientific research,” said Vennie Gore, MSU vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises. “We must be certain that the firm MSU recommends for construction is the optimum choice. Thus, we are taking every measure to ensure transparency and protect the integrity of the selection process.”

  • The P3 proposal and plan best suited for the Grand Rapids biomedical research center will be evaluated against a MSU-delivered project. A recommendation by the university to the MSU Board of Trustees will be presented in December.

  • Pending appropriate Board of Trustees approvals in the process, including budget and delivery of the project, substantial completion of the facility is expected in late 2017.

RFP next step for new MSU Biomedical Research Center in Grand Rapids: June 24, 2014

Michigan State University has released a request for proposal (RFP) for its planned biomedical research center in Grand Rapids to three public-private partnership (P3) firms identified through a previous selection process.

RFQ issues for new MSU Grand Rapids Biomedical Research Center: April 3, 2014

Michigan State University is considering two delivery options for a biomedical research center in Grand Rapids: a traditional university-financed model and a developer-financed model.

Programmatic Planning: January 1, 2014

The programming phase underway for the Grand Rapids biomedical research center allows for detailed specifications, refined cost estimates and in depth review of financial and delivery models.

  • MSU selects the site of the former Grand Rapids Press building as the location.

  • The size of the new research facility is anticipated to be approximately 145,000 square feet.

  • Ellenzweig, an award-winning architectural firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is selected as the design architect. Ellenzweig is uniquely qualified for providing laboratory planning and architectural design for technically complex buildings for science research and teaching. Ellenzweig is also design architect of the state-of-the-art Secchia Center.

  • Michigan-based SmithGroupJJR is named Architect/Engineer of Record. SmithGroupJJR has designed other MSU research buildings on campus in East Lansing.

  • On April 4, MSU issues a request for qualifications (RFQ) to potential public private partnership (P3) developers and announced plans that the university will consider two delivery options for the Grand Rapids Research Center – a traditional university-financed model and a developer model.

  • On June 23, a request for proposal (RFP) is issued to three P3 developers identified in the RFQ process.

  • RFP proposals are received July 29. The evaluation of the proposals is a multi-step process. After initial analysis by MSU’s project review committee, a team of outside experts evaluates financial, technical, investment and real estate development components, providing a summary of strengths and weaknesses for broader consideration.

  • The P3 proposal and plan best suited for the Grand Rapids biomedical research center will be evaluated against a MSU-delivered project. A recommendation by the university to the MSU Board of Trustees will be presented in December.

Exploration Phase: September 5, 2013

Launch of investigation and planning from an academic perspective; faculty and students of the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction conduct research in Grand Rapids; land use study, interviews with community leaders and other background investigation.

  • Consultants JLL, URS and Ellenzweig work on building site analysis, financial modeling, real estate valuation.

  • All collaborate to explore possibilities and create a vision for growing biomedical sciences in Grand Rapids.

  • Delivery of preliminary recommendations for the Grand Rapids biomedical research center, December, 2013, including an academic exercise of conceptual work by MSU students and faculty from the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction with the Land Policy Institute.

WHY A NEW LABORATORY BUILDING?

The Grand Rapids Biomedical Research Building will allow the College of Human Medicine to advance its trajectory of NIH-funded research growth. In 2010, MSU College of Human Medicine opened the Secchia Center, a $90 million privately-funded facility constructed specifically for medical education and not designed to accommodate research laboratories. This was part of a long-range strategy that involved MSU partnering with Van Andel Institute and Grand Valley State University to lease laboratory space to support new NIH-funded researchers recruited to Grand Rapids. Through December 2014, the medical school has recruited 18 principal investigators (PIs) and their scientific teams to West Michigan and now fully occupies all desirable laboratory space available to MSU in Grand Rapids. Over the next two years, college anticipates recruiting another 6 to 9 additional PIs, for a total of 24 to 27 – plus their research teams.