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Nov. 23, 2021

Building opportunity

New MSU facilities empower research discoveries and student success

Michigan State University is expanding its academic and research landscape on campus and beyond with new buildings and renovated spaces that point toward the MSU of the future. These facilities not only accommodate a growing student population and research enterprise, but they also provide spaces that put collaboration and innovation first.

Take a look at some of MSU’s recent additions.

Powering STEM education

MSU’s STEM Teaching and Learning Facility honors the past while looking toward the future as it serves students and faculty. Repurposing the historic Shaw Lane Power Plant and adding on an additional 100,000 square feet, this world-class facility empowers Spartans to embrace new ways of learning and innovating. Classrooms and laboratories support introductory courses for biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, physics and engineering.

Built around the decommissioned power plant and incorporating elements like sustainable mass timber, the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility is an accessible and inclusive space filled with flexible classrooms and labs powered by the latest technology, creative collaborative and study spaces, a café and interactive art installation that all serve to prepare and inspire tomorrow’s STEM leaders.

Accelerating next-generation nuclear science

Above and below the surface of MSU’s campus, the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams is nearing completion, hosting the world’s most powerful rare isotope accelerator. MSU operates FRIB as a user facility for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, supporting the mission of the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics to discover, explore and understand all forms of nuclear matter.

A core piece of the nation’s research infrastructure, the facility will power next-generation nuclear science experiments exploring rare isotopes — the forms of elements not normally found in nature — and will provide researchers with more than 1,000 rare isotopes never before produced on Earth.

MSU was selected by the DOE-SC in 2008 to build and operate the $730 million scientific user facility that spans 565,000 square feet. The university is home to the nation’s No. 1 nuclear physics graduate program, according to U.S. News & World Report.

When experiments begin in early 2022, the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams will power discoveries that will lead to applications that benefit society while also educating the next generation of nuclear scientists who will advance the benefits of rare isotope science for generations to come.

Ringing in a new era for music performance

Taking center stage on West Circle Drive is the Billman Music Pavilion named after lead donor and alumnus James K. Billman Jr., M.D. The $40 million project adds 37,000 square feet of new space to the existing Music Building and another 8,500 square feet in renovated MSU music facilities.

The College of Music’s international reputation for excellence in the arts will be elevated by the new spaces, which enable the college to continue its recruitment of top faculty and students. The renovation and expansion include acoustically advanced rehearsal and performance spaces, 45 additional practice rooms, a modern and high-tech lecture hall, faculty studios and offices, a recording and multimedia hub and public gathering spaces.

While these new spaces opened in fall 2020, the college celebrated with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house in fall 2021 as more students and faculty returned to campus.

Creating collaboration space for future business leaders

Among the nation’s top business schools, the Broad College of Business is ensuring its facilities match its reputation. The recently opened Minskoff Pavilion, named for alumnus and lead donor Edward J. Minskoff, covers 104,000 square feet dedicated to enhancing the student experience through its design around community, collaboration and teamwork.

Connected to the current business college facilities, the facility features collaborative and immersive learning environments, a glass-walled atrium with panoramic views of the Red Cedar River and an expanded career center to serve students, recruiters and corporate partners. In April 2021, the Minskoff Pavilion became MSU’s first academic building to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Gold certification.

The college’s Eugene C. Eppley Center also underwent extensive renovation to align with the Minskoff Pavilion’s design and focus on collaboration. The School of Hospitality Business — among the top hospitality business programs in the nation — returned to the fourth floor of the building, its original home.

Driving precision medicine breakthroughs

Located in the MSU Grand Rapids Innovation Park along the city’s Medical Mile, the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building is a 205,000-square-foot facility dedicated to the development and commercialization of discoveries in biomedical research, including digital health, artificial intelligence and medical devices to improve patient care and reduce health care costs.

As part of development of the health innovation ecosystem, Spartan Innovations — funded by the MSU Foundation and with a grant from the Grand Rapids SmartZone — will be managing an incubator for startups in the facility.

The Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building is one of few places in the world that is home to two cyclotrons and a radiopharmacy used in the manufacturing of radiopharmaceuticals that provide cutting-edge cancer therapies. Funding for the cyclotrons and the radiopharmacy was supported by a $19.5 million philanthropic gift awarded to the College of Human Medicine from Doug Meijer and the Meijer Foundation in late 2019.

By: Meredith Mescher and Derrick Turner