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 Plante Moran Cresa Celebrates Completion of New Milan Center for Innovative Studies

Collaborative learning environment for Milan High School’s seniors puts emphasis on introducing employability skills in knowledge-based setting 
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – September 18, 2012 – Following a collaborative spaces model that began in Europe and spread to corporate America, school districts are following suit and focusing renovations and additions on open, flexible spaces that address the multiple educational and employability goals set for today’s students. That’s the approach used at the Milan Center for Innovative Studies (MCIS), a 23,000 square foot addition to Milan High School that houses the school’s 180 seniors, according to Paul Wills, AIA, LEED AP, a partner at Plante Moran Cresa and education sector team leader who worked on the MCIS project. 
“Like other leading districts, Milan Area Schools is addressing the academic and future career needs of high school students.  With MCIS, seniors engage in project based learning to gain an understanding of the collaborative nature of the workplace and add skills now that increase employability down the road,” said Wills. 
Plante Moran Cresa, a fully integrated independent real estate transaction and consulting firm, has been involved with over 15 Districts on their school renovation projects in the past year and each project has embraced the collaborative learning space concept for both academic classes and the arts.  At MCIS, collaborative spaces include conference rooms and a floating stairway which can seat 90 students for academic or social discussion. Other highlights of the addition include a computer lab, production room with robotic equipment and technology access throughout the space.
The MCIS renovation was funded by a $49 million bond passed by the community in 2009; Milan Area Schools then engaged Plante Moran Cresa as owner’s representative for the project. Plante Moran Cresa’s engagement with Milan ultimately included project budgeting and scheduling, negotiation of professional service agreements, project management, design advocacy and value engineering, construction oversight, move management and close-out services, according to Milan Area Schools Superintendent Bryan Girbach. 
“Plante Moran Cresa provided oversight throughout the construction process.  In conjunction with the architect, construction manager, and technology firm, they assisted the district in ensuring that design and construction stayed on schedule and on budget.  Plante Moran Cresa coordinated several reports for the school board and continuously provided the superintendent’s office with updates.  The professional guidance of Plante Moran Cresa played a major role in allowing the district to celebrate an open house today with parents, students and staff in a beautiful learning-focused space,” said Girbach. 
Wills added that Milan benefitted from Plante Moran Cresa’s extensive school experience.
“Plante Moran Cresa saved the district $1.8 million by accelerating the renovation schedule for other District facilities and implementing processes that we know through our school experience do not compromise the high standards of a district like Milan Area Schools,” said Paul Wills. 
Learn more about MCIS at
About Plante Moran Cresa
Plante Moran Cresa is an independent commercial real estate transaction and consulting firm exclusively representing buyers and lessors in the delivery of fully integrated real estate services, including tenant representation, project management and strategic real estate consulting. Plante Moran Cresa’s multidisciplinary team provides unbiased advocacy to a distinguished list of clients seeking to uncover all of their options regarding project feasibility, asset positioning, capital markets, portfolio management, national site selection and incentives.  Plante Moran Cresa is affiliated with Plante Moran, PLLC, one of the nation’s largest public accounting and business advisory firms.  Additionally, Plante Moran Cresa is a member of the Cresa national and global tenant representation network of corporate real estate service providers. To learn more about Plante Moran Cresa, visit
Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications; 248.651.7536;; Ron Rotole, Plante Moran Cresa; 248.603.5241;
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