Oct. 12, 2011 | WMU News
Walbridge, an award-winning global construction firm with headquarters in Detroit, was selected following a national search that began in July. Walbridge will serve as the construction manager/constructor for a building project that will likely bring hundreds of jobs to Southwest Michigan.
"The strength of the pool of candidate firms was incredible," says WMU's David Dakin, who chairs the facilities committee for the medical school. "We had 11 proposals from around the nation. We chose Walbridge because the project team and supporting players demonstrated great experience with complex projects that were built under aggressive schedules and designed with sustainability as a focus. They also had a background working in a higher education environment and they have experience in developing projects that include simulation labs, which will be an important element in the WMU medical school."
Walbridge will work closely with the S/L/A/M Collaborative, a Connecticut-based architectural and engineering firm that was announced in August as the design firm for the medical school. That firm has been working on site selection with the school's facilities committee, and the Walbridge team is expected to immediately be involved in site development once the site location is finalized sometime later this year.
"Walbridge is excited to be working with Western Michigan University and S/L/A/M Collaborative on a project of such significance to our state," says Donald Greenwell Jr., senior vice president of Walbridge. "The new medical school will have a positive impact on our state and so many people in medical education and training for generations to come."
Walbridge's past construction management work includes well-known projects
Walbridge is a Michigan-headquartered, top-50 construction company founded in Detroit in 1916. The privately held company offers construction management, design-build, general contracting and related services to customers in the fields of higher education, health care, manufacturing, government and aviation. Walbridge was the first construction company in North America to receive ISO certification and it currently employs more than 1,000 professionals in North America, South America and the Middle East. Walbridge is the only construction company to receive the Star Award twice from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration--MIOSHA--for excellence in on-site safety and health programs.
WMU's new School of Medicine is a partnership involving the University and Kalamazoo's two teaching hospitals, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare. It has been in planning for three years, and fundraising, accreditation work and curriculum development for the school are well under way. Expected to welcome its first class in fall 2014, the school is a privately funded initiative housed at WMU, which is one of the nation's 139 Carnegie-designated public research universities--one of only five such universities in Michigan. In March, WMU announced a foundational gift of $100 million for the medical school from anonymous donors.