Winter Hall, at right, will open four new LLCs in the fall semester; aerial street view of Grand Rapids

GVSU to open 'game-changing' immersive housing options in Grand Rapids

Four new housing options will open for first-year or transfer students at Grand Valley this fall, offering an immersive experience that puts them in the heart of Grand Rapids and close to classes, faculty members and resources.

President Philomena V. Mantella called the Grand Rapids Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) a game-changer for Grand Valley's housing options, adding they will attract students who may prefer to live in the city, rather than the university's main campus in Allendale.

"This community-based living experience allows students to collaboratively explore academic opportunities, learn from each other and, perhaps, discover new academic paths," Mantella said. "Being in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids will give students greater access to internships, jobs and other networking opportunities."

Downtown Living-Learning Centers

While first-year students can choose from any housing option on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, most LLCs are for students who have chosen to major in social work, engineering or business. The fourth — Momentum House — is geared toward students who are undecided or have selected a different major. All LLCs will be located in Winter Hall, one of two living centers on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus. 

Diana Lawson, dean of the Seidman College of Business, said the three academic LLCs (social work, engineering and business) will integrate experiential learning and engagement within their respective professional communities.  

"In LLCs, learning takes place in the classroom, with peers in living spaces, and through experiential opportunities that integrate classroom learning with the professional communities within and across disciplines," Lawson said.

Holly Cookson-Martinez is a senior who works as a resident assistant in Winter Hall. She sits in her room in this photo.
Holly Cookson-Martinez is a senior who works as a resident assistant in Winter Hall.
Amanda Pitts
Students in Winter Hall gather in the common room, which includes a pool table and full kitchen.
Students in Winter Hall gather in the common room, which includes a pool table and full kitchen.
Amanda Pitts
Gerardo Vasquez, who is a social work major, stands on the Blue Bridge in Grand Rapids.
Gerardo Vasquez, who is a social work major, stands on the Blue Bridge in Grand Rapids. Social work is among the professional LLCs that will be established at Winter Hall in the fall.
Kendra Stanley-Mills

Kyle Boone, director of Housing and Residence Life, said the Grand Rapids LLCs are based on six successful communities on the Allendale Campus, adding research has shown that living in a community has a strong impact on student learning and achievement.

"Students are living on the same floor and taking similar classes," Boone said. "Living-learning communities at Grand Valley, by design, connect the academic and the student experience directly. Spontaneous study groups will happen and faculty members are right there to answer questions. 

"Students on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus will have access to resources and services just as they would on the Allendale Campus."

Grand Rapids LLCs are designed for 200 students, apply online now to reserve a spot. 

Learn more about the Grand Rapids LLCs online at gvsu.edu/GRLLC. Questions can be sent via email to housing@gvsu.edu.

Bus riding on Fulton Street, in front of Winter Hall.
The Rapid's Laker Line takes students among the Allendale, Pew Grand Rapids and Health campuses.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills