Bronson Healthy Living CampusBronson Healthy Living Campus
Responding to increasing consumer demand for holistic approaches to sustainable food production and safety along with the need to impact the health and well-being of residents through improved nutrition and diet, the $46.1M campus on 14 acres donated by Bronson Healthcare, includes three new structures. Two of the buildings are operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and one by Kalamazoo Community Health and Substance Abuse Services.
The Kalamazoo Valley Food Innovation Center opened at the beginning of the winter 2016 semester. Course offerings at the facility include Introduction to Sustainable Food Systems, Food Safety Essentials, Winter Crops Practicum, and Food Industry Career Planning. Tiny sprouts of microgreens, radishes, cabbage, kale, cilantro and basil offer just a glimpse of what’s coming. The live wall in the visitors’ center is covered with plants. The grow room houses hydroponic and aquaponic growing systems, and a space-saving, vertically stacked growing rack system that’s popular in dense urban areas. The building houses labs and a large classroom. There is also a 9,600-square-foot greenhouse on the grounds with shades that provide light and temperature controls and a self-venting roof. The building is located at 224 East Crosstown Parkway.
At 418 East Walnut Street, the Kalamazoo Valley Culinary/Allied Health Building is the home for students enrolled in the new Menus That Matter ™ Culinary and Sustainable Food Systems programs. The three-story structure houses a culinary theatre, community education kitchen and will include a full-service teaching restaurant and café. The Kalsec © Center for Sustainable Brewing Education is located on the second floor and includes a teaching brewery, classroom spaces, and labs.
The building is also the new home for Kalamazoo Valley students enrolled in nursing, emergency medical technology and respiratory care programs. Students will train in state of the art simulation labs, spacious classrooms and an ambulance which was hoisted into position during the construction of the building.
Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, (KCMHSAS) a partner in the project, has constructed a 17,000 sq.ft. person-centered facility and pharmacy at 615 East Crosstown Parkway. This integrated, health-services clinic opened in December 2015. “It is hoped that its close proximity to Bronson Methodist Hospital will help prevent avoidable emergency room visits and facilitate timely post-discharge follow up,” according to KCMHSAS Chief Executive Officer Jeff Patton. “Location on the healthy living campus will create opportunities to incorporate garden-based therapies in holistic patient care.”
In addition, the entire campus has benefited from extensive property improvements. Kalamazoo Valley continues to work with the City, Kalamazoo County and the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail on a trail that will connect the north and south campus along the Portage Creek.