WMU News

WMU sets top capital outlay priorities

Oct. 8, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Regional collaboration and new facilities for the College of Health and Human Services are the top unfunded priorities for Western Michigan University in this year's requests for capital outlay funds from the state.

The requests, which were approved by the WMU Board of Trustees at its Oct. 7 meeting, include a $8.125 million regional collaboration project that tops the list. The 40,000-square-foot building would be constructed by WMU on the campus of Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor. Of the total project cost, WMU would pay $1.625 million.

The new facility would house such junior- and senior-level and graduate-level programs as teacher education, reading, health studies, applied liberal studies and applied professional studies. WMU is seeking additional state funds to support these programs through the program-revision request process.

"This facility would enable us to better serve the citizens of Berrien, Van Buren and Cass counties in cooperation with Lake Michigan College," said WMU President Elson S. Floyd. "This initiative is part of our efforts to develop stronger relations along the I-94 corridor by listening to the needs of communities. It is apparent that WMU can add value to the entire region, but in very different ways in each community."

The University's second unfunded priority is a new building for the College of Health and Human Services and the renovation of an existing structure, the EWB building, which currently houses WMU's Bronson School of Nursing and its Department of Occupational Therapy. The new building would be constructed on the University's South Campus, which is located along Oakland Drive and Howard Street, contributing to the development of a health-care corridor along Oakland Drive. The total project cost is $45 million, of which WMU would pay $11.25 million.

The first priority of nine shown on this year's list is for a new building for the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which is to be located on WMU's Lee Baker Farm in Kalamazoo. The $53-million project, already authorized by the state Legislature, includes funds for the renovation of Welborn Hall for student services.

These requests now go the Department of Management and Budget and the state Legislature for consideration for the state's 2000-01 fiscal year. The University is expected to pay 25 percent of the total cost of each project.

Here are the University's remaining requests in priority order and total project costs, with WMU's cost in parentheses:

Media contact: Mike Matthews, 616 387-8400, michael.matthews@wmich.edu

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