East Campus redevelopment is topic of town hall meeting

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Photo of WMU East Campus

East Campus redevelopment up for discussion Feb. 1.

KALAMAZOO--A campus town hall meeting has been set for Wednesday, Feb. 1, to discuss the status of efforts aimed at the redevelopment of Western Michigan University's historic East Campus.

The meeting, which is open to the public, is set for 9 to 10 a.m. in the Walwood Hall lobby. It is being organized by WMU's Office of Community Outreach and the Western Student Association in coordination with Students for East Campus.

On hand to provide the latest information on the effort will be Randy Doran, senior vice president at KDC Real Estate Development and Investments, which is WMU's private-sector development partner; Jan Van Der Kley, WMU vice president for business and finance; and Bob Miller, WMU associate vice president for community outreach.

During a speech in September, Miller announced the selection of KDC following a process that attracted proposals from development companies around the nation. While no firm plans for the 35-acre site and five buildings were announced at that time, a number of possibilities for the adaptive reuse of the property were outlined. They included a boutique hotel, conference center, apartments, condos, offices, parking and a health center. During the announcement, early 2012 was identified as a possible timeframe for revealing more detailed information.

The site is at the top of Prospect Hill overlooking Kalamazoo's downtown area. Building on the site began in 1904, shortly after the University was founded as Western State Normal School. The campus, with East Hall as the oldest and most visible of the facilities, was once dubbed "the Acropolis of Kalamazoo" by humorist Will Rogers.