Opened: March 2004
Cost: $50 Million
Central Michigan University's Health Professions Building opened in March 2004. It was designed by the Smith Group of Detroit and built by the JM Olsen Corporation of St. Clair Shores between August 2001 and January 2004. Although the total cost of the project was $50 million, the University initially planned on spending only $2 million on the building, because $37.5 million would be funded by the state and another $10 million would be raised from donors.
The Health Professions Building was designed to bring together students and faculty in the health professions, which had previously been scattered across six different buildings on campus before consolidation into the new facilities. Upon opening, the building encompassed 175,000 square feet over two stories and three separate wings: a clinical wing, a laboratory wing, and a classroom wing. A prominent two-story atrium at the spine of the structure gave the structure a unique design aesthetic. The building featured over a hundred offices, twelve classrooms, 27 laboratories, 35 diagnostic and treatment rooms, eight observation rooms, and 28 therapy rooms. There were also two inner courtyards, one of which included a memorial to those lost in the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The building is located on the corner of Preston Avenue and East Campus Drive, on the former site of Alumni Field and the old Lyle Bennett Track, both of which were demolished in preparation for construction of the Health Professions Building. At the time of its opening, the Health Professions Building boasted state-of-the-art audio-visual and telecommunications technology that allowed students and faculty to converse with other research facilities worldwide in real-time with high-quality video and audio. One room, called the "global telepresence room," featured equipment designed to capture and share activity within the room and to generate three-dimensional imaging. Other technological innovations included a therapeutic pool and a keycard entry system to ensure security in the facility, which housed valuable and potentially dangerous equipment.
At the opening ceremony in March 2004, a large crowd of donors, politicians, and Central Michigan students, faculty, and administrators heard speeches from several guests, including the Michigan Surgeon General Kimberlydawn Wisdom, MD. The Health Professions Building is now home to The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions. A $19.4 million, 60,000 square foot addition to the Health Professions Building, opened in 2012, also houses Central Michigan University's College of Medicine.