About 150 students, faculty and staff members attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Science Laboratory Building, April 15, on the Allendale Campus. The 151,000-square-foot, four-story building will be located on Campus Drive next to the Fieldhouse, just south of the Rec Center.
President Thomas J. Haas said the state’s investment in the project shows lawmakers believe in and have confidence in the university. “State support for this building is validation that Grand Valley is a vibrant, stable and forward-looking university that creates a learning environment for our students to succeed," said Haas. "This new building will help us continue to attract talented students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and health professions fields.”
Provost Gayle Davis said the building can’t open soon enough. “We have needed this new building for quite a while,” said Davis. “We have 82 undergraduate programs and 30 graduate programs, and about 40 of them touch on the STEM and health professions in some way.”
Katie Carlson, the former vice president of Educational Affairs for Student Senate and a biology major, said the new building will help students majoring in the sciences have inspiring moments like she has had. “Small class sizes are very important,” she said. “Grand Valley has helped me grow and develop in my field, and personal attention from faculty is crucial.”
Also taking part in the ceremony were Fred Antczak, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Neil MacDonald, chair of the Biology Department; David Hooker, member of GVSU Board of Trustees; state Rep. Roger Victory, R-Holland; and state Rep. Rob VerHeulen, R-Walker.
The building will feature nine classrooms, 15 teaching laboratories, 14 faculty and student research laboratories, study spaces, offices and a greenhouse.
The $55 million dollar facility will receive $30 million from the state. The university will bond the $25 million needed to complete the project; no tuition money will be needed for the building.
Construction will begin in July and will create 950 temporary construction jobs; the target move-in date is fall 2015.