In 2006, the Annis Water Resources Institute was awarded a supplemental grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with the support of Congressman Pete Hoekstra. These funds have been applied to a number of capital projects that are essential to AWRI's continued research, training, and education. In particular, we are putting the finishing touches on a new storage building. This new building will provide dedicated space outside the footprint of the existing field station building for storing our fleet. Currently, the AWRI's trailered boats and vehicles are stored inside the field station, occupying valuable floor space. Total square footage is estimated at 3,300. A resounding thank you goes out to Captain Tony Fiore, who in addition to his regular responsibilities, took the initiative to keep an eye on the day-to-day workings of this project.
In addition, we included as many "green" elements as possible in the construction project. Of particular note is natural lighting to minimize electricity costs, the installation of a partial green roof, and the redirection of runoff to a rain garden on the grounds.
Ultimately, our strategic plan calls for retrofitting the inside of the field station to accommodate more labs and offices. The new storage garage building frees up the field station floor space, so when funding is available to implement the retrofit, we will be ready to move forward.