GV trustees approve plans to expand Medical Mile

GVL Archive
The Board of Trustees meeting was held in Traverse City this past Friday.

GVL Archives

GVL Archive The Board of Trustees meeting was held in Traverse City this past Friday.

Anya Zentmeyer

The Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees met in Traverse City on Friday, focusing on the purchase of land along Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile to expand the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.

The board approved a $3.25-million purchase at 301 Michigan St. NE to allow for the future expansion, bordered by Hastings and Trowbridge streets and Lafayette and Prospect avenues, north of the Gerald R. Ford Freeway.

CHS, which contains programs in nursing, physician assistant studies, occupational and physical therapy, radiation therapy and cell and molecular biology and biomedical sciences, opened in 2003 and has already reached full capacity. The university will use the expansion to accommodate enrollment demand with the addition of laboratories and classrooms.

“We have obligations as a university to educate the heath care workers of our future, and we also understand we have an obligation as an anchor on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile,” said GVSU President Thomas J. Haas. “That means being responsible to the city and to those who will personally be affected by our expansion plans. We’re excited to continue our investment in the area and we’re committed to being a good neighbor.”

Rockford Development Group LLC developed the land and unveiled plans for the site with an unnamed tenant in May before GVSU was involved. The university plans to purchase the property before the end of the year, during which time Rockford Development Group will manage the site until GVSU begins construction.

Officials said the university is still identifying which health sciences-related programs will be housed in the building constructed on the Lafayette-Hastings site, and the building design will be determined from there.

Current residents of the property would be given one years’ notice of the building plans before development will begin.

Though GVSU said it will draw from the campus development fund to purchase the property, construction funds are yet to be determined. GVSU spokeswoman Mary Eilleen Lyon told the Grand Rapids Press the university is considering requesting state funds, launching a fundraising campaign or using bonds, or some combination of those options.

Haas also presented GVSU’s fifth accountability report at the meeting, wherein he continued discussion on the university’s high graduation rate, increased enrollment and the continued struggle for more state allocation.

The trustees approved an annual state appropriation request, asking lawmakers in Lansing to increase GVSU’s per-student funding from $2,365 to $3,775, the number set by the state Senate as a minimum funding floor.

To read Haas’ full accountability report, visit www.gvsu.edu/accountability.

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