MSU’s Flint medical campus expanding into downtown
Editor’s note: This article has been changed to reflect the correct second reference of Uptown Reinvestment Corporation.
At last Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting, the trustees unanimously approved plans for MSU’s College of Human Medicine, or CHM, to pursue a lease with Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, or URC, and expand the college’s Flint campus to the former site of The Flint Journal.
Currently, the Flint campus’ hub and administrative offices are located in Flint’s Hurley Medical Center, where medical students perform clinical exercises and train at that location, as well as at the McLaren Regional Medical Center and the Genesys Regional Medical Center, said John Molidor, assistant dean for the Flint Campus of MSU-CHM and professor of psychiatry of MSU-CHM.
Along with the college’s growing public health division, the CHM is expanding into a 40,000 square-foot space in a building in downtown Flint.
Molidor said the location will host the CHM’s administrative offices, teaching and study spaces and the public health division.
Rent will cost $300,000 per year and will be paid with a grant, according to the Office of Communications and Brand Strategy. The building’s additional operational costs of about $400,000 will be paid for by MSU.
This is a 20-year lease between MSU and the URC, and finalizations still are being worked out.
URC president Tim Herman said he expects the lease to be settled by April 1, with construction hopefully commencing this summer and MSU able to move into the building by summer 2014.
The expansion is exciting many at MSU and in Flint who believe the move will benefit not only MSU, but the Flint area as well.
“I think it’s very important; it brings a major university to the city of Flint, and I think it would be beneficial for both,” Trustee Faylene Owen said.
Dean Sienko, the CHM associate dean for Prevention and Public Health, said MSU reached out to the Flint community and asked how it could address the area’s needs.The the public health division composed a plan to provide access to health education and address poverty issues, he said.
Molidor said the new facility will allow interaction between medical and public health students to create a fluid relationship and understanding between the two fields.
He also said the CHM’s classes are growing, and the new building will be able to accommodate this increase.
The conversation has been on the table since at least 2009, Molidor said.
Brian Tesler, a resident of Flint and graduate student at the CHM’s Flint campus, said the city’s medical community is on the rise, and he is proud to be able to contribute to his hometown’s ascend.
“Flint means a lot to me, (and being able) to better the community and give people better access to their health care,” Tesler said. “It’s going to be beneficial.”