Western Michigan University’s Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine project has won an award of merit from Engineering News-Record for the best project in the Midwest region in the higher education/research category.

The project—a renovation of a 40-year-old, 300,000-square-foot pharmaceutical research building in Kalamazoo to house the university’s new medical school—also has received a Silver Project Leadership Award from the Construction Owners Association of America.

The updated facility was designed to be a modern environment that encourages a higher level of learning and interaction. It includes a regional simulation center and incorporates classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate a problem- and team-based pedagogy.

Informal learning spaces in the building offer access to technology, and a three-story atrium connects the main building to a new three-story addition, a 22,000-square-foot medical simulation laboratory and a grand seven-story stairway.

“Our students enjoy having such an outstanding medical school facility to train to be exceptional clinicians, leaders, educators, advocates, and researchers,” says Hal Jenson, the medical school’s founding dean.

The project was designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative in collaboration with Diekema Hamann Engineers and the Walbridge construction firm.