Another buffer zone on the north end of the park will feature a crushed stone walking trail and a larger degree of wooded separation between man-made features of the development.An area with steep topography at the northern end of the property is being set aside as open space.A paved multi-use pathway will run through the buffer zones parallel to Drake Road.
A proposed schedule sets construction to begin in April 2018, likely to last roughly one year.
Miller noted that the untouched Asylum Lake Preserve is around 274 acres -- close in size to the two WMU business parks combined.
Through the development of the concept plan for second business research and technology park, WMU pulled together an advisory team which included representatives from the Asylum Lake Preservation Association, Asylum Lake Management Council, WMU Office for Sustainability, WMU Students for Sustainable Earth, Southwest Michigan First, and WMU College of Engineering.
131 will retain some of its natural features, under the university's plans, while providing space for development meant to create taxable land, spur economic growth and offer research opportunities for WMU faculty and students.
The university has been preparing for the time when expansion would be necessary and Bob Miller, associate vice president for community outreach for WMU, said that time has come. Just as we did in the city of Kalamazoo: help the tax base, (help) with job growth and recruit companies that want to partner with the university, work with our faculty and offer opportunities to our students." Finalized designs will be sent to the U. Economic Development Administration, which awarded the project a .1 million reimbursement grant last year.