GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan State University School of Human Medicine’s presence continues to expand in downtown Grand Rapids.

Ground was broken Monday on the latest addition, the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building. The 205,000-square-foot building will be constructed adjacent to MSU’s Grand Rapids Research Center at the corner of Michigan Street and Monroe Avenue NW.

The public-private partnership will help fast-track research and implementation by testing new treatments and getting those treatments into the hands of doctors.

“This is really unique. It’s part diagnostic, it’s part therapy and part research,” Doug Meijer said.

Much of Meijer’s support for the center comes from his own experience battling prostate cancer. He had to travel as far as Germany to get treatment. He said he would like to see people in West Michigan and across the state benefit from research and treatment close to home.

His mother Lena Meijer was on hand for the groundbreaking.

“I’m so grateful to have the parents I had,” Doug Meijer said. “Giving back to the community, that’s just something that we always did. “

Health Innovation Partners, a joint venture between Rockford Construction, Walsh Construction and Walsh Investors, Murphy Development Group and Michigan State University, is developing the project. SmithGroup is the lead architect.

“This is a new frontier for Michigan State University and everyone involved in this project as we further establish ourselves in Grand Rapids and as an emerging national player in the health research and innovation space,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr, M.D., who attended the groundbreaking.

Tenants will include the MSU College of Human Medicine, BAMF Health and Spectrum Health. The building is expected to open in late 2021.