The University’s Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute will expand its program’s facilities by leasing a space on 214 S. State St., Suite 200 in downtown Ann Arbor.

According to the University’s Office of Public Affairs, the lease agreement was signed on May 17, 2012, and the Graham Institute will occupy the 4,119-square-foot space for five years.

The monthly lease payment for the space is $7,379.88, while the total lease payments for the 60-month term are expected to amount to $442,792.20.

The Graham Institute is a unit of the Office of the Provost — reporting directly to University Provost Philip Hanlon — and partners with multiple colleges across campus that have an educational or research interest in environmental sustainability.

While the Office of Public Affairs reports that the Graham Institute has not yet moved into the new space, Andrew Horning, deputy director of the Graham Institute, said the space will be used for the upcoming fall 2012 semester.

Horning explained that the space will include office space for the research portion of the institute while providing a larger meeting area designed for workshops and meetings for various programs coordinating with the institute, as well as other sustainability centers on campus.

“The more flexible meeting space could be used by other centers such as the Michigan Sea Grant, the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, the Risk Science Center … there are numerous centers that qualify,” Horning said.

Graham Institute students, faculty and other external partners, including corporate partners and government programs, stand to benefit from this new space.

“The meeting space is designed to be a collaboration space for everybody to come together and solve problems,” Horning said.

Horning explained that there hasn’t previously been a central facility to unite groups across campus to examine sustainability issues and solutions, adding that the Graham Institute is looking forward to this new location as the answer to this obstacle.

Besides the 214 S. State St. location, Horning said two other locations were being considered.

The Graham Institute is currently leasing a location on 625 E. Liberty St., Suite 300.

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