Board of Trustees to discuss additional funds for CMED facilities at Thursday meeting

The Board of Trustees will vote to approve additional funds for the College of Medicine facilities during its formal meeting Thursday.

One of the main items on the agenda includes requesting an additional $525,000 for planning and designing of CMED facilities in Saginaw. If the additional money is approved, it will bring the total costs related to the design and development phase to $2,275,000.

The Saginaw campus, which will consist of two buildings located at St. Mary's of Michigan-Saginaw and Covenant HealthCare hospitals, will be used for educational and clinical space for CMED students and staff members already at each site.

Though plans have been revealed for the new campus, an amount has yet to be set. In a previous Central Michigan Life article regarding the Saginaw campus, CMED Dean Ernest Yoder said "Costs have not yet been released because they are not yet finalized and the college does not wish to announce an incorrect estimate."

In a meeting with CM Life Tuesday, University President George Ross said a finalization of the total costs are close, but not expected to be announced at Thursday's meeting.

"I was in a meeting with Mr. Graham, the CEO of St. Mary's Hospital, and Mr. Maidlow, the CEO of Covenant Heathcare, this past week," he said. "We are very close to a number, but they are going back to their boards, as am I, and we are hoping to release a number in the near future."

Ross also said it has been a difficult process because there are four organizations involved with the project.

"If it was just us, it would be more definitive," he said.

With the first applicants being accepted for the 2013 class, Ross admitted to being under some pressure to get the project finalized.

"We are under some pressure to get it to the board. There's pressure because the first class is coming here in 2013 and will be in Saginaw by 2015," he said. "We are going to try and get the building open in late 2015, but I fully anticipate that we will come to a conclusion on the facility, the cost and the funding soon."

The board will also discuss the authorization of two leases.

One will involve a 16,000-square-foot office space for CMED administration. Funding for the lease would come from the College of Medicine's operating budget and would not exceed $240,000 per year.

The space is needed because the CMED building on campus has enough space to meet student academic needs, but will not provide enough space for all staff members.

The second lease is for a 2,583-square-foot area to provide clinical space for Assistant Professor of Surgery Dr. Sandra Howell's medical practice. The $38,745 annual cost would also be funded from the CMED operating budget.

According to a news release, CMED will continue to acquire private practices as the school recruits additional faculty. Money generated from these private practices will provide revenue for the college.

Board of Trustees member Brian Fannon was contacted but wished to delay comment until he attended Thursday's meeting.

- Managing Editor Aaron McMann contributed to this report.


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