WMU News

Trustees sign off on leases, other business

March 25, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Acting at their March 22 meeting, Western Michigan University trustees authorized University officials to lease space to an Asian take-out restaurant and two communication companies.

Members of the WMU Board of Trustees approved the lease of a vacant unit in the University Plaza to the owners of the Rice Kitchen, which currently is located on Oakland Drive. WMU has owned the plaza at 907 Howard St. since 2000. Two of the four spaces are currently leased and one is occupied by WMU's Brink Printing Services. The five-year lease approved by trustees will generate $2,000 per month for the University, and includes a five-year renewal option.

"As the University was negotiating with Rice Kitchen, several Asian students approached President Floyd with a concern about the lack of authentic Asian cuisine available on campus," said Lowell Rinker, WMU assistant vice president for business. "We invited these and other students from Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Korea to evaluate Rice Kitchen's menu and price. With their input, we've determined that this tenant is an excellent match for the University."

In related action, trustees approved leases with two communications companies for antennas to support increased cellular phone use on campus. University officials will finalize a lease with Nextel Communications to place a small antenna on the 130-foot tower adjacent to the Faunce Student Services Building. Nextel will pay $1,685 per month plus cost-of-living increases for the space and also will pay to reinforce the tower, which supports the antenna of student radio station WIDR. The base lease will be for 10 years with three five-year extensions. Nextel and University officials are also discussing the possibility of another tower located either in WMU's Business Technology and Research Park or on adjacent land.

Sprint Spectrum LP also will be expanding its presence on campus, as trustees approved a lease with that company as well. A Sprint antenna will be located on top of WMU's Sprau Tower, with supporting equipment in that building's mechanical room, which is also located on the roof. As with the Nextel lease, all associated expenses will be borne by Sprint. Rent for this antenna location will be $1,750 per month plus cost-of-living increases, with a five-year base lease and two five-year extensions.

In other business action, trustees: (1) reappointed Plante & Moran LLP to audit the University financial statements for the 2001-02 fiscal year; and (2) approved a name change for North and South Dormitory roads, which will now be known as North Residence Hall Drive and South Residence Hall Drive to reflect current terminology and the community atmosphere of campus residences.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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