Bill and Melinda Gates speak at the Global Citizen Festival in New York in September 2015. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving the University of Washington $210 million to support what the school calls a “population health initiative.”

The gift, which is the largest in the school’s history, was announced this week by the public university in Seattle.

It will fund construction of a new building devoted to multidisciplinary study of global health, public health and health metrics and evaluation.

“Melinda and I are pleased to make this investment in the University of Washington to help dramatically accelerate their 25-year vision to achieve positive health outcomes for populations around the world,” Bill Gates said in a statement Tuesday. “UW has long been a partner in our foundation’s global health and development efforts and this grant underscores our confidence in the school’s students, faculty and multi-disciplinary resources to advance their Population Health Initiative.”

The school’s president, Ana Mari Cauce, said the university was grateful for the gift.

“We believe we have a moral imperative to bring together the tremendous knowledge and resources of the UW and the Puget Sound region and channel them towards improving health and well-being here in Washington and around the world,” she said.

The foundation also gave what was previously the largest gift to the university, $106 million in 2007 to establish the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.