Library build on track for completion

GVL/ Eric Coulter
The construction of the Mary Idema Pew Library

Eric Coulter

GVL/ Eric Coulter The construction of the Mary Idema Pew Library

Andrew Justus

The construction site of Grand Valley State University’s new Mary Idema Pew Library and Learning Commons may look unimpressive right now, but James Moyer, vice president of facilities planning, said work on the new library is progressing largely as planned.

“We had weather-related delays after several rain storms during the summer, the most notable being the June 21 event,” Moyer said. He added that the library’s contractor, Pioneer Construction, was still able to make up the lost time despite flooring and damage to the site.

Moyer said foundation work for the new library will wrap up before winter. When that’s completed, workers will begin erecting the library’s steel structure during the winter months.

“The steel has begun to arrive on-site,” he said. “Winter should not affect the steel erection … The building foundation is nearing completion. Within the next month, we expect significant electrical equipment to arrive on site.”

He said the tunnel that connects the new building to the main system of tunnels carrying heat and electricity on campus is already completed.

Professor Helen Klein, head of the faculty division of Facilties Planning in matters related to the new library, said after the new library is built and the contents of the current Zumberge Library are moved into it, Zumberge will be converted into space for GVSU’s non-instructional operations that are currently housed in AuSable and Lake Michigan Halls but would be better served as classrooms once the new space is completed.

However, Moyer said plans for the re purposing of space in the Zumberge Library building are not final.

Opened in 1969, the Zumberge Library was built at when GVSU had a total enrollment of only 2,700 students, according to statistics from the university’s Office of Institutional Analysis.

The current library houses 777,000 volumes and 523,000 electronic journals and books.

Moyer said the completion of the Mary Idema Pew Library and Learning Commons is still scheduled for April 2013.

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