UMSI leases space in former Borders building

The University of Michigan School of Information has signed a five-year lease for about 4,000 square feet in what used to be the Borders building at Maynard and Liberty Streets in Ann Arbor.

The new space, located on the Maynard Street side on the second floor, will house 12-15 staff members from the school along with common and working spaces. The lease will make room for new faculty and programs at the school’s current location in the academic tower of the North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex, at the corner of State and Washington streets in Ann Arbor. Staff members are expected to begin moving in to the new location in fall 2013.

UMSI has added several new degrees and programs over the past few years, including the Master of Health Informatics, a joint degree program of UMSI and the School of Public Health housed at UMSI. The school’s new undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Information program will accept its first upper-level students starting in early 2014. Currently, the school offers a Master of Science in Information, the MHI and a PhD. The school’s main location will continue to be in North Quad, which is also home to Communication Studies, Screen Arts and Cultures, the Language Resource Center and the Sweetland Center for Writing, in addition to student housing.

Dean Jeffrey MacKie-Mason said that UMSI considered a wide variety of spaces, including those currently owned or leased by the university, before settling on the space on Maynard as the best option for the school.

“We moved into North Quad in 2010 when the building opened, and we already filled 95 percent of our allotted capacity on the first day,” MacKie-Mason said. “We’ve been growing ever since. We’re very excited about the new space, both for the opportunities it offers for our growing faculty and student body, but also for its location. We’ll be neighbors with a number of tech companies. And for our employees, the short distance between the new location and North Quad will make close collaboration possible.”

Other tenants surrounding the UMSI space in the building include tech firms Barracuda Networks and PRIME Research North America. Google Ann Arbor, Menlo Innovations, and the university’s TechArb student startup hub are all within two blocks of the new location.