GVSU Performing Arts Center to Become LEED Silver Certified

GVL / Sheila Babbitt

GVL / Sheila Babbitt

Nick Moran

Last year, Grand Valley State University completed its additions to the Haas Performing Arts Center on the Allendale campus.

The remodel included the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre as well as expansions to the costume and dressing department, two theater classrooms for costume design and fabrication and music ensemble and rehearsal spaces. These renovations created a two-story, 47,000 square-foot addition to campus. 

Along with the remodel came beneficial factors that only improved campus environment. These factors include site sustainability, water efficiency and prevention of habitat and natural resources. The landscape of the overall project is what improved water efficiency, while recycled material was used with locally manufactured materials.

With this efforts put in place, Grand Valley has been recognized and awarded the LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. These certified buildings use 30 percent less energy, 40 percent less water and 75 percent less material than those not certified. This demonstrates GV’s commitment and overall goal to improve sustainability throughout the Laker community. 

Each year, Grand Valley is committed to building and designing LEED certified buildings in order to better the campus.

Brad Newman, Project Manager of the Performing Arts Center, stated that Grand Valley began constructing its first LEED building in 2002 and since has successfully completed its 25th LEED certified project.  

Among the Performing Arts Center, there are nine other buildings on campus that have been Silver certified as well. These include Lake Ontario Hall, Glenn A. Niemeyer Learning and Living Center and the Zumberge Hall addition and renovation.

“LEED Silver is one of four certifications that can be achieved for any LEED building project. The LEED certification process focuses on what sustainable practices are incorporated in a building project concerning issues like site selection, efficient water and energy usage, building materials used and indoor air quality,” Newman said. 

With the newest addition to the GV community, performing arts students can not only gain a better understanding and accomplishment by enjoying the new performance and production space, but also support the environment as well. In addition, students will have a real-feel for what it’s like to perform in front of bigger crowds; the lobby alone expects to accommodate more than 10,000 patrons throughout the year. 

Over the past three years, Grand Valley’s music program alone has grown nearly 46 percent with more than 300 students participating in theater productions. GVSU is always looking for ways to improve campus and overall Laker life. The new performing arts center will not only benefit and improve the Allendale campus, but performing arts students are able to see their dream of large crowds as a reality.