Legislature Approves MSU Med School

December 6, 2007
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LANSING — The joint Michigan Senate and House Capital Outlay Subcommittee has approved construction of the Secchia Center as part of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine expansion project in Grand Rapids.

Even though the $90 million medical school will be funded by corporate and private donations, the state legislature’s 20-member Capital Outlay Subcommittee reviews the spending of state funds for such projects as state government buildings and all capital projects for universities and community colleges, said Geri Kelley, communications manager for the MSU College of Human Medicine. It’s a standard procedure that the subcommittee has to undertake whether or not the project involves state funding, she explained.

“In the past it used to be a rubber stamp process, but now it’s a little more involved,” Kelley noted. “Basically, what the university had to do was submit what’s called a use and finance statement to the state Department of Management and Budget, which scrutinizes it and sends it on to the Capital Outlay Committee for approval.”

It’s a standard process that clears the way for MSU to move ahead on the project, she said. 

Sen. Bill Hardiman, R-Kentwood, said Michigan currently has a shortage of physicians and the new medical school will help address that problem, plus it will generate significant economic growth for the region by attracting talented and ambitious students, faculty and staff to the area.

Rep. Michael Sak, D-Grand Rapids, said he worked closely with local, state and university leaders to ensure that the approval was secured. He said the move is simply a win-win for western Michigan, MSU and the state as a whole. Not only will the project train more physicians, it will also bring more high-tech, high-paying jobs to the city and will be a great economic boon to the metro area, he noted.  

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