WMU News

Transfer of KPH property to WMU approved

May 19, 1998

LANSING, Mich. -- Now it's official.

The transfer of 120 acres of property, all but 10 acres of it along Oakland Drive, to Western Michigan University was approved May 19 by the State Administrative Board in Lansing. It is expected that a deed to the property will be executed before June 30, making the transfer final.

About half of the property will be leased back to the state Department of Community Health for $1 per year for use by the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. The transfer was authorized by the state Legislature in December 1996.

The University will experience an immediate savings of $150,000 per year in a lease agreement no longer necessary for the building housing the WMU School of Nursing. It also will enable WMU to build a $10 million welcome center and student services building at the southeast corner of Stadium Drive and Oliver Street.

"This is a truly significant moment in the history of our University," said WMU President Diether H. Haenicke. "It provides us with the opportunity to grow and develop in ways not previously possible. No one can predict the full significance of this property acquisition."

Keith A. Pretty, vice president for external affairs and general counsel at WMU, expressed the University's appreciation to several state officials and members of their staffs for their cooperation in the transfer.

They include James K. Haveman Jr., director of the Department of Community Health, and Robert Mosher, manager of special services in the real estate division of the Department of Management and Budget. The State Administrative Board includes the governor, the state treasurer, the secretary of state and the attorney general.

The property includes 106.7 acres along Oakland Drive and Howard Street as well as 10 acres on Blakeslee Street in Kalamazoo, which is known as the Northwest Unit.

WMU will lease back 53 acres of 106.7 acres to the Department of Community Health for use by the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. This property includes the main hospital building, the now vacant Pheasant Ridge building, a physical plant shops building and a food service building.

Media contact: Mike Matthews; michael.matthews@wmich.edu

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