GV offices to move downtown

Lizzy Balboa

The administrators and staff currently occupying the basement of Grand Valley State University’s Zumberge Library are preparing for a temporary move downtown for the 2013-2014 school year.

Jim Bachmeier, GVSU vice president for Finance and Administration, said the offices will move out in May 2013 and return in June 2014 as soon as furniture is installed.

“This is part of the dominos of a few projects,” Bachmeier said.

During the $22,000,000 renovation of Zumberge Library to expand administrative offices, the office staff will temporarily shift into the DeVos Center in the space currently occupied by the Seidman College of Business, which will transition into its new building this summer.

“This will allow the relocation of several non-academic employees from several academic buildings,” said James Moyer, associate vice president for Facilities Planning.

When the administrators move back to Allendale in 2014, a number of operations—including human resources and accounting, which are currently separated from the other administrative offices in Lake Michigan Hall—will consolidate in Zumberge.

Hospitality and Tourism Management will then move from Allendale and the College of Education will leave the Eberhard Center to establish new homes in the DeVos Center. The school of social work will also expand within DeVos.

In Allendale, the shift will allow for growth of academic programs in Lake Michigan Hall, as well as an expansion of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences within Mackinac Hall after Hospitality and Tourism Management offices clear out.

Bachmeier said that, in the end, all the adjustments will provide an opportunity for growth of academic space for health professions, which will expand out of the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences into the Eberhard Center.

Moyer said the expansions and transfers should improve work efficiency across the board.

“The university has very limited space for faculty and administrative staff,” Moyer said. “There is limited space for graduate assistants and student workers. We have numerous instances where faculty are sharing offices. There are numerous instances where the lack of space affects the progress of students toward the completion of their degree; the situation is particularly acute in the labs.”

Bachmeier added that the moves to and from downtown should not hinder the administrators’ work. “It’s always inconvenient to move and move back, but the resulting end project will be an increase (in) efficiency,” he said, adding that the consolidation of offices will allow for more streamlined communication between staff.

Bachmeier said he hasn’t heard complaints from employees making the move, but that any griping is probably a result of now having to pay city income taxes.

“The university employees affected by the move have participated in the planning of the project and from all indications appear supportive of the relocation and the eventual return to the new and renovated space,” Moyer said,

Bachmeier said the employees will maintain and share two offices in the Seidman House while they are located downtown. He added that the administrators will remain “fully accessible,” and that he, personally, will be on the Allendale Campus at least one day each week.

The administrators and office staff will retain their current email addresses and phone numbers throughout the transition period.
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