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Friday, 04 April 2014 13:40

MSU weighs two paths to develop Grand Rapids research facility

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Michigan State University today released a request for qualifications to developers for the new biomedical research facility it’s planning at the former Grand Rapids Press site and neighboring properties.

At the urging of several local parties, university officials decided to open up to the process to a potential public-private partnership (P3) instead of immediately embarking on a traditional university-financed model.

“We’ve been encouraged by members of the Grand Rapids community to consider both options and reach out to highly qualified developers with the capabilities and research lab experience to help shape our world-class environment,” said Ken Horvath, chief of staff for the vice president of auxiliary enterprises at MSU. “A number of universities are using the P3 model and we’ve decided to evaluate both options.”

The deadline for submittal to the university is May 2. MSU will evaluate candidates through August with a final decision from its board of trustees expected in late 2014. This summer, the university will also issue a request for proposal (RFP) for contractors interested in participating in the traditional delivery model.

The staging of requests will allow university officials to review a side-by-side comparison of both delivery mechanisms, culminating in a recommendation to the MSU trustees that’s anticipated to happen later this year, according to a statement from the university.

As of January 2014, the medical school has recruited 15 principal investigators (PIs) and their scientific teams to West Michigan. The college anticipates recruiting another six to nine additional PIs over the next three years, for a total of 21 to 24 PIs – plus their research teams – prior to the opening of the Grand Rapids Research Center, the university stated.

MSU’s need for the new Grand Rapids Research Center is paramount, as the College of Human Medicine fully occupies all desirable laboratory space available to MSU in Grand Rapids, according to the university.

With the exploration phases complete, project planners are now in the programmatic phase of the project with the design team working on schematics, specifications, cost, financing and delivery model. The facility is anticipated to be approximately 145,000 square feet, the release stated.

“We need the facility up and open by 2017 and the process will be meeting that timeline,” Horvath said. “This project is one of three major long-range planning efforts for the university.”


Read 2806 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 09:31

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