Grand Valley State University and Spectrum Health joined up this week to enact emergency preparedness plans they laid out 10 years ago.

Spectrum Health is preparing to use the university’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences as additional medical space, if needed, to house patients seeking treatment for COVID-19.

At full capacity, the space will have 250 beds, said Mark Van Dyke, Spectrum Health’s business assurance manager.

“They have turned over the keys to us,” Van Dyke said.

The facility is particularly suited to those patients who don’t require emergency care but still need medical treatment. It won’t serve as an intensive care unit or emergency department.

The Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences—just one block from Spectrum Health’s main hospital in downtown Grand Rapids—is home to the university’s health curriculum, including the Kirkhof College of Nursing and the College of Health Professions.

That said, it already has the infrastructure in place to quickly serve as an off-site hospital, including IT, nutritional services and environmental services.

“This pandemic plan to use this space has been around since … this building was built,” Van Dyke said. “We have an established relationship with Grand Valley to set up this hospital.”

Spectrum Health will be able to use existing medical equipment at the location, as well as supplementing it with additional beds and equipment sent from the State of Michigan, Van Dyke said.

On Thursday, Spectrum Health received two semi-trailers full of medical supplies and cots.

“This will be a fully functioning health care facility by the end of the week,” Van Dyke said, emphasizing that Spectrum Health is not currently using the space, but instead preparing so they’re ready should they have need of the additional beds.