- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - New life will soon be coming to the former Flint Journal building with Michigan State University faculty moving in this fall.

Roughly 100 of MSU’s third- and fourth-year medical education students will begin using the building the following spring, according to The Flint Journal (http://bit.ly/1kCTeMi ).

“Us moving into this area of downtown is consistent with the plans of this city becoming an educational city,” said Dick Temple, project administrator for MSU’s College of Human Medicine. “We’re wildly excited to be a part of the community.”

The MSU Board of Trustees voted Jan. 25 to pursue a 20-year lease, paying an estimated $700,000 a year in rent to occupy 40,000 square feet of the former Flint Journal building, which is owned by Uptown Reinvestment Corp. The 40,000 square feet will be used for office and teaching space.

Uptown Reinvestment bought the building last year for $1.6 million, according to city records.

The purchase included the newspaper’s former printing facilities, which is near the main building.

MSU’s College of Human Medicine had announced plans in late 2011 to expand its medical education and public health programs in Flint with a $2.8 million grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The expansion builds on a partnership MSU has had in Flint for decades with third- and fourth-year students doing clinical work in all three Genesee County hospitals - Hurley Medical Center, Genesys Regional Medical Center and McLaren Flint.

“We’ve been present in Flint since the 1960s. We haven’t really had a home in Flint until this opens up later this year,” Temple said.

The original Flint Journal building was built in the 1920s, Temple said. The printing press was built in the 1950s and another addition was added in the 1960s.

The third and fourth floors in the original 1920s building will be used for future tenants and loft apartments. The rest of the space will be used for office and classroom space for MSU faculty members, researchers and students, Temple said.

Because it’s a historic building, parts of the structure will stay the same, Temple said.

“We’re trying to keep a lot of the character of the space,” he said. “Exposed beams (and) a modern, new space.”

A new entrance is going in on the east side of the building that will face the new Flint Farmers Market. The entrance will be very open with a lot of glass where the loading docks were.

There will also be a new passenger elevator put in.

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