Sneak Peek event offers students exclusive look at new library

GVL / Robert Mathews
James Moyer, Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning , describing layout plans inside the Mary Idema Pew Library.

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews James Moyer, Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning , describing layout plans inside the Mary Idema Pew Library.

Anya Zentmeyer

When Thomas J. Haas became president of Grand Valley State University nearly seven years ago, the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons seemed like a distant vision. Now, just a few months away from it’s scheduled completion, the new, $65 million library will open its doors on April 17, giving both returning undergraduates and graduating seniors who have watched the structure spring from the ground a chance to get a sneak peek into GVSU’s new state of the art learning facility.

“Now it’s here, and I couldn’t have an opening of the library without students seeing it first,” Haas said. “Because what we have created here is part of the learning environment that will enable generations of students to be successful in their academic pursuits at Grand Valley State University.”

The sneak peek event will be in the spirit of last year’s beam signing event, an effort to bring together the campus community for an afternoon of music, door prizes and commemoration of one of the largest construction endeavors in GVSU history.

“Before students leave to go on their respective summer plans and all of commencement I just thought I was so important to show our students what they can look forward to, and also there’s some graduating students to see what they have really helped contribute to, in my mind,” Haas said. “It’s all about students. I’m thrilled; hopefully we’ll get just a great number of folks.”

With enrollment now inching closer to 25,000 students, the new library will triple the capacity of the current Zumberge Library, which was constructed in the 1960s for 5,000 students. The Mary Idema Pew Library will provide space for 150,000 books on open shelves and 600,000 library items in an automated retrieval system, complete with a Knowledge Market armed with experts in research, technology, writing and presentation development.

“For the last two years the university community has watched the new library rise out of the ground and become an iconic building on the campus landscape,” said Bob Stoll, associate dean of Student Life. “The excitement is building and students are anxious to take a peek at what this new special place will be.”

With the summer completion of the new library, the university will also embark on a $22 million, 24,000 square-foot expansion and renovation of the Zumberge Library, funded by university-issued bonds and Campus Development Funds, to help house GVSU’s provost, human resources, finance and news and information departments into the facility in an effort to help open up classroom space in other campus buildings that were previously faculty and staff offices. Construction and transition efforts have already begun on GVSU’s Allendale Campus.

The Student Sneak Peek event is open to all GVSU students. Those interested in taking a walking tour of the new library facility should meet in the Kirkhof Center lobby near the 2020 Information Desk from 4-6 p.m.
For additional questions information, contact GV News and Information Services at 616-331-2221.

“I’m excited to have this preview for our students,” Haas said. “As you remember we had the beam signing (last year), it seems like just yesterday but it was probably about 18 months ago now. Having the opportunity for students to have their own preview of the Mary Idema Pew Library is, for me, a dream come true.”

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