GVL / Eric Coulter
Progress on the Mary Idema Pew Library

Eric Coulter

GVL / Eric Coulter Progress on the Mary Idema Pew Library

Morgan Miller

It’s no secret that Grand Valley State University’s campuses are getting a makeover. This past fall, steel structures, enormous cranes and flying steel beams greeted students as they came
back for the academic school year.

By next fall, the buildings will be finished for students and faculty.

Workers from Pioneer Construction continue to work on the Mary Idema Pew Library on the Allendale Campus and the L. William Seidman Business College on the Pew Campus.

Construction on the library broke ground just last May. Now, students and faculty can see the skeleton of the new library that will be more than twice the size of Zumberge.

“Construction has proceeded as scheduled,” said James Moyer, project manager for the new Library and vice president of facilities planning at GVSU. “A mild winter helped the contractors maintain schedule,” said Robert Brown, project manager.

Moyer and the construction team plan to enclose the structure by the end of the summer. Currently, they are installing mechanical electrical equipment, and they hope to begin installing the masonry, as well as start on the roof and the interior walls before students come back this fall.

Workers are on site for 12 hours a day working on the seven floors, four exterior walls, roof and connecting tunnels

“This day allows certain work tasks to be completed,” Moyer said about the long work days. “We have the luxury of being able to engage workers throughout the project.”

The library is scheduled for completion in Spring 2013. At this time next summer, items in the Zumberge library will be relocated across the pond to the Mary Idema Pew library.

The new library will include state-of-the-art automated storage for 600,000 books, a caf?©, a multipurpose auditorium that will seat over 80 people and an atrium extending three levels.

In downtown Grand Rapids on the Pew Campus, Pioneer Construction workers are assembling the L. William Seidman Center, which will be home to the Seidman College of Business and the Small Business and Technology Development Center, a federal and state funded program that creates and sustains Michigan jobs.

The construction team’s biggest priority right now is installing the roof and enclosing the central tower. Along with that, the 120 workers on site also hope to enclose the structure and dry it out in order to start the interior work, which they will continue in the winter.

The Seidman Center will be GVSU’s 16th LEED-certified building.

For more information about on-campus construction projects, visit

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