Ken Palmer, Lansing State Journal
LANSING - Working in a steady drizzle, workers used a massive crane to hoist the first steel column into place for McLaren Greater Lansing's planned $450-million campus in southeast Lansing on Wednesday morning.
The beam is part of 3,200 tons of structural steel that will be needed to support the nine-story facility in University Corporate Research Park.
All 5,200 pieces of steel should be in place by the end of the year, McLaren officials said. The hospital is on pace to be finished by early 2022.
"It's an exciting milestone," Austin Holcomb, McLaren Greater Lansing's facilities director, said in a news release. "People driving by on the highway will begin to see the new hospital quickly taking shape."
The new campus, with a 240-bed hospital as its centerpiece, will replace McLaren's two existing campuses in south Lansing. It represents the largest capital investment in the health system's history, officials have said. Workers broke ground in December.
The new campus will have a cancer center, medical services building and facilities to support educational opportunities and medical research, officials said. More than 1,000 doctors, researchers and other professionals will work there.
McLaren bought the former farm land on Technology Boulevard, between Collins Road and U.S. 127, from the nonprofit MSU Foundation, which works to commercialize Michigan State University's research.
The land was acquired by MSU President John Hannah in 1965 and was later deeded to the foundation for a research park.
The project is expected to create about 2,500 construction jobs, McLaren officials said. When the facility opens, it will add about 80 employees to McLaren Greater Lansing's current workforce of about 2,000.
McLaren's existing campuses – McLaren Greater Lansing hospital on West Greenlawn Avenue and McLaren Orthopedic Hospital on South Pennsylvania Avenue – will continue operating until the new, consolidated campus opens in three years.
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