WMU News

Trustees authorize property purchase for soccer facility

Sept. 18, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University will acquire 52 acres of land in Oshtemo Township for soccer fields to replace its current soccer facility on the Lee Baker Farm, where the University's Business Technology and Research Park is developing.

WMU's Board of Trustees approved the University's purchase Sept. 15 of the parcel located along Ninth Street between KL Avenue and West Main Street. The purchase price for the parcel, which currently is being used for agriculture, is $500,250.

"As you are aware, the Business Technology and Research Park will ultimately encompass the existing soccer fields," said Robert Beam, WMU vice president for business and finance, in presenting the proposal to the board. "For some time, we've been looking for flat areas on the west side of Kalamazoo and the opportunity to purchase this parcel recently popped up."

Beam said the current owners, Mr. and Mrs. George Buckham agreed to sell 43.5 acres of the land to WMU for $11,500 per acre -- a total of $500,250 -- and donate the remaining 8.71 acres, which has been valued at $100,165.

"We see a lot of business interest in the BTR Park," said Beam. "There is a good possibility of a sale and consequent construction of a parcel immediately adjacent to the existing soccer fields. Rapid development of land west of campus is limiting our options for relocating our soccer fields. This new property is not much further from campus, if any, than the current Lee Baker Farm location."

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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