Board of Trustees give GV the green light on $18.7 million in additions

GVL / Robert Mathews
Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning, James Moyer, presenting the renderings for the Laker Marketplace connected to the new science facility.

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning, James Moyer, presenting the renderings for the Laker Marketplace connected to the new science facility.

Anya Zentmeyer

The Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees passed plans to move forward on two new construction projects on the university’s Allendale Campus – a 22,000 square-foot addition to Au Sable Hall, and a new home for the University Bookstore – a two-story, 45,000 square-foot building to free up the existing space for additional food service, student study areas and student life activities.

“The Au Sable and marketplace projects have been in the works as a proposal for several months, and James Moyer and his staff have been working on finalizing the proposal,” said Matt McLogan, vice president for University Relations.

The projected $6.7 million project, scheduled to begin this June and wrap up construction in 2014, will add eight classrooms, 16 faculty offices and additional student study space to Au Sable Hall, which McLogan said the university has only made two additions to since it’s initial construction in 1974.

The new space will also house the ELS Language Center, an English language program that has been in collaboration with GVSU for 10 years, which will move from its existing space on 48th Avenue. The new classroom space better accommodates ELS students, a reported 130 of which enroll at the center in any given session.

The Laker Marketplace, the name for the new bookstore-food service hybrid that will replace the existing bookstore and repurpose its current space for expanded student activities and food service with the intent to relieve a crowding issue in the Kirkhof Center during peak passing times, specifically noon.

“The marketplace has been thought of for actually quite a while because we have run out of space entirely in the Kirkhof Center,” McLogan said. “We’ve added onto it twice and practically can’t add onto it anymore.”

The new two-story Laker Marketplace will cost the university $12 million to build, and be constructed concurrently with the previously announced $55 million, 155,000-square foot new science building, which will bring state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms and faculty offices to GVSU. The Laker Marketplace will be located on the south side of the new science building, across from Padnos Hall on North Campus Drive. The marketplace is expected to near completion in May 2015, the science building following shortly thereafter in the fall.

“(We will) be able to accommodate additional services that students tell us they want, including space for electronic merchandise,” McLogan said.

Though $30 million of the $55 million science building is state-funded, the university isn’t receiving any federal or state assistance for either the Laker Marketplace or the addition to Au Sable Hall, both of which McLogan said are being “handled by the university’s auxiliary funds,” utilized by self-sustaining university departments like Housing and Residence Life, Campus Dining and the Meadows Golf Course, which are separate from the General Operation Fund budget and have no effect on student tuition.

“We’re going to have some really great space and it meets long identified needs,” McLogan said.

In other university expansion efforts, the Board of Trustees authorized the purchase of two parcels of land located along 48th Avenue held for future development by the university. The two properties – one 17-acre parcel of land and another one-acre parcel – will cost the university $315,000 in Campus Development Fund money.

Tom Butcher of university counsel told trustees at the meeting that the real-estate on the corner of 48th Avenue and Luce Street is a sensible move on the part of the university because of its proximity to existing domain, however, the administration has not yet determined any specific use for the real-estate at this time.
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