GVSU Board of Trustees approve $20 million expansion to Performing Arts Center

GVL / Luke Holmes - James Moyer presents his case for renovation of the PAC. The Board of Trustees meeting was held on Friday, April 29, 2016 in the Seidman Building.

GVL / Luke Holmes – James Moyer presents his case for renovation of the PAC. The Board of Trustees meeting was held on Friday, April 29, 2016 in the Seidman Building.

Audra Gamble


In addition to a new housing building, students at Grand Valley State University will see improvements to the Performing Arts Center this fall.

At the April 29 Board of Trustees meeting, a $20 million expansion and renovation was approved to the building, originally constructed in 1971. Construction on the 44,000 square foot addition has already begun, and will be completed by August 2017.

This will be the fifth addition to the Performing Arts Center since the building

“The current addition is designed to address the growth and more intensive education in the music program, as well as the consistent crowding in the theater program,” said James Moyer, associate vice president for facilities planning at GVSU.

The funding for this project will come entirely from GVSU’s undistributed interest income. Of the $20 million budget, $16 million is allocated for construction services and site utilities. An additional $1.5 million is budgeted for furniture, equipment and telecommunications. Professional services and fees are expected to cost $1.65 million, leaving $850,000 for contingency funding.

According to Moyer, the undistributed interest income is set aside for one-time purchases. Of the potential purchases, the Performing Arts Center addition was deemed as the highest priority by the university.

The architect chosen for the project is Stantec Architecture, the same company that designed the Mary Idema Pew Library, also on the GVSU Allendale Campus. The construction and project manager is Pioneer Construction.

Following the construction, the additions to the building will be LEED Silver certified, adding to the roughly 30 percent of GVSU’s buildings that are LEED certified for being environmentally friendly. All new building projects at GVSU are required to meet the LEED Silver standards, at a minimum.

According to documents provided to the Board of Trustees, “the proposed addition will replace a portion of the 1971 theater support spaces on the east side of the existing Performing Arts Center with a black box theater, associated theater support spaces, two theater classrooms, three ensemble rooms, new student study space, and an enlarged student study space in the building’s primary lobby area.”

Not all of the various projects will be completed at the same time, however. Some components of the renovations, particularly with the theater support spaces, involve demolition. In order to continue the functionality of these spaces, the expanded lobby will be the first project to be finished. This is projected to be accomplished in time for the start of the 2016-17 school year in the fall.

While the other spaces are being renovated, the newly enlarged lobby will house the costume shop and the student preparation area. All renovations and expansions will be complete by the fall 2017 school year.

“We anticipate some noise and some re-routing of pedestrian traffic,” Moyer said. “Other than these items, we do not anticipate any significant impact on the remainder of the building. The construction team is well-attuned to the operation of the campus and fully understand the challenge before them.”