New Grand Valley projects create jobs, meet housing trends

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About 100 students, faculty and staff members attended the ground-breaking ceremony April 15 for two projects that will combine learning, living and dining.

The 289,000-square-foot Living Center 2010, to be located along 42nd Avenue in Allendale, will consist of three, three-story buildings, offering 608 beds in apartment-style units.

The 21,534-square-foot Learning/Dining Center 2010, on the north end of Lot P on the Allendale Campus, will be a two-story building containing Fresh Food Service, a convenience store, a coffee shop, classrooms, study areas and more.

Kate Pew Wolters, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, said the project will create as many as 1,300 local jobs. “These are tough times for Michigan, but the trustees believe now is not the time to cutback, but for us to invest in our strategic plan providing to our students the excellence in academics and state-of-the-art environments to learn,” said Wolters.

Student Senate President Autumn Trombka said the word has spread about the great living facilities at Grand Valley. “With the new learning, living, dining experience students will be able to truly find a home for themselves. The connections you gain with the people around you and the friends you make when living where you learn are great,” said Trombka.

The designs for the new facilities follow the latest trends for student housing and students, according to Andy Beachnau, director of Housing, Residence Life and Health Services. “What we’ve found is if students are in an academic unit that connects with a residential unit, they are more likely to have a better experience and stay and complete their degrees,” Beachnau said.

The $45 million Living Center is scheduled for occupancy in August 2010; the $7.4 million Learning/Dining Center is scheduled to be completed in April 2010.

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