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Last beam goes into place at WMU School of Medicine
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The final beam went into place Wednesday at the Western Michigan University School of Medicine.
The school, which has already attracted thousands of applicants, is set to open next fall.
Construction started a year ago, and when it's completed, the school will house an auditorium, lecture halls, state of the art labs and, of course, classrooms.
All of that is bringing a boost to the city as well.
The new school will be a place for first and second year medical students to call home.
The school's Dean, Hal Jenson, says the new school will address the growing physician shortage, while encouraging graduates to practice in southwest Michigan.
"So the more physicians that we can train who either have roots in southwest Michigan or train here in southwest Michigan, the better the pipeline will be for the future," he said.
With more than 3,000 applicants for just 50 available spots, it's clear the school is what students are looking for as well.
"We have some outstanding applicants; the caliber of the applicant pool is just tremendous," Jenson said. "I'm convinced that we're going to have outstanding students in our first class."
And that's something that Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell says is good for the entire city.
"I think this is going to be a part of moving our community to the next level," he said. "We are a masterpiece in progress I always say; we have so many great things, but now we're going to be a leader in healthcare from the standpoint of medical education."
Construction is slated to finish by June of 2014.
The school is expected to be up and running for the first class in August.