WMU News

Trustees sign off on leases, approve deal with Lake Michigan College

Dec. 16, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- At their meeting Dec. 13, Western Michigan University trustees authorized University officials to lease space in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo and approved a South Haven-based partnership between WMU and Lake Michigan College.

Members of the Board of Trustees approved a four-year lease of the fourth floor of the WMU Graduate Center-Downtown in Grand Rapids, Mich., to Thomas M. Cooley Law School, as part of the previously announced alliance with that institution. The 12,840-square-foot space includes seven offices, five classrooms, a reading room, meeting room and reception area. By 2005, the law school plans to open a full branch campus in a newly renovated building adjacent to WMU's downtown center.

Trustees also authorized University officials to execute a three-year lease of space in the University Plaza on Howard St. in Kalamazoo. Restaurateurs Habes Wardal and Rabih Debaja plan to open Kampus Kabob, serving Middle Eastern fare in the space currently occupied by Alternatives of Kalamazoo. Effective Oct. 1, 2002, the three-year lease and its three-year renewal option are in keeping with the expiration dates of other tenants in the facility. Monthly rent will be set at $1,400 per month, with annual increases of 3 percent.

In addition, trustees approved a long-term lease for a partnership with Lake Michigan College that will allow WMU to offer upper-level undergraduate and graduate classes on LMC's South Haven Campus. The two institutions have a similar partnership in Benton Harbor, where WMU operates its own facility. In South Haven, WMU will instead provide pro-rata funding for its portion of the building LMC will construct. It is estimated that WMU's share of the building cost will be approximately $250,000 for the construction of some 4,000 square feet. Trustees authorized University officials to execute a long-term operating and lease agreement, which includes nominal rent and WMU's pro-rated costs for utilities, maintenance and operations of the facility.

In other business action, members of the Board of Trustees officially adopted a previously announced resolution opposing Proposal 4, the proposed constitutional amendment that was defeated by Michigan voters in November.

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

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