June 27, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees today authorized administrators to grant an easement to the city of Kalamazoo, allowing for improvements to roadways bordering the University's new engineering complex and Business Technology and Research Park.
Bordered by Parkview Ave., Drake Road and US 131, the land known as the "Orchard Property" is located adjacent to the new home of WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and its BTR Park site. The approved right-of-way easement will allow the city to make roadway improvements called for in previously announced plans, including widening Drake Road and possibly installing a non-motorized path.
Transferred from the State of Michigan to the University in 1977, the Orchard Property is currently leased to Michigan State University, whose Department of Entomology uses the unimproved land for fruit pest research. To allow for the easement, trustees also approved changes to the lease with MSU. In addition to allowing WMU to create the road and utility rights-of-way, the revisions will bring the terms of the lease to current legal standards and create a rolling expiration so that if MSU no longer needs the property for its stated purpose, that university's lease rights will expire.
The renegotiated MSU contract must be signed before the roadway easement can be granted. However, Michigan State University officials already have expressed a willingness to accommodate WMU's needs.
Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA