Groundbreaking set for new School of Medicine building

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Photo of the building that will house the WMU School of Medicine.

School of Medicine building groundbreaking set for Oct. 12

KALAMAZOO—A groundbreaking ceremony set for Friday, Oct. 12, will launch a massive renovation of a downtown Kalamazoo building that will house the Western Michigan University School of Medicine.

A public ceremony is set for 11 a.m. at the site, which is located at 300 Portage St. The building being renovated is a 330,000-square-foot facility that was donated to WMU by Mattawan-based MPI Research. As announced in June, the site has been named the W.E. Upjohn Campus of the new medical school, honoring the founder of the Upjohn Co. and the great grandfather of MPI's chairman and CEO William U. Parfet.

The groundbreaking event will include remarks at 11:15 a.m. Officials will unveil renderings and reveal details of the renovation and expansion plans for the building. The ceremony is expected to end at noon.

The facility, widely known as Building 267, was once part of the Upjohn, Pharmacia and Pfizer downtown campuses. In December 2011, Parfet, announced the donation of the building to the University for use by the new medical school. WMU will lease the building to the School of Medicine, which is a private 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation and a collaboration involving the University and Kalamazoo's two teaching hospitals, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare. The medical school is expected to welcome its first class in fall 2014.