Board approves new addition to Au Sable Hall

Students are pictured at the ELS Language Center, which is located at 48th Avenue, but will soon occupy space in Au Sable Hall when the building is renovated.
Students are pictured at the ELS Language Center, which is located at 48th Avenue, but will soon occupy space in Au Sable Hall when the building is renovated.
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Grand Valley's Board of Trustees today approved adding an addition to Au Sable Hall, increasing the classroom and office space in that building.

James Moyer, associate vice president for Facilities Planning, said the 22,000-square-foot addition should be complete in 2014. Construction will begin in June. Moyer said the two-story addition will add eight classrooms and 16 offices. Projected cost is $6.7 million, he said.

Part of the new space will be occupied by ELS Language Center, an English language program that has had a 10-year collaboration with Grand Valley.

Nicholas Ghiglia, center director, said about about one-third of all ELS students enroll at Grand Valley following their program. The center enrolls about 130 students in any given session.

The center, one of 65 ELS Language Centers in the country, has been affiliated with Grand Valley since 2004. The center is now located on 48th Avenue.

Brian Copeland, associate vice president for Business and Finance, said the on-campus move fits with Grand Valley’s strategic plan pertaining to inclusion and internationalization. “An objective in the strategic plan calls for the university to increase its outreach efforts in order to enhance the diversity of the student body,” Copeland said.

Ghiglia said ELS students will enjoy becoming more immersed in Grand Valley’s culture. “Students enjoy coming to campus now to use the Fieldhouse, library and computer labs, but they will get the most benefit from being on campus daily,” Ghiglia said.

He added that the move to Au Sable will enhance the learning experiences of traditional Grand Valley students and ELS students.