Master Plan update shows possibilities for campus evolution, growth over next 10 years

Document builds on 6 guiding discoveries about planning for change

Grand Valley’s latest Campus Master Plan update lays out a vision for creating an environment for diverse learners and the advancement of equity while addressing the need to create spaces and programs that embrace technology “as a vehicle for human, societal and enterprise empowerment.”

The university’s Board of Trustees is expected to review the plan at its meeting on February 24 as part of an update on the Reach Higher 2025 strategic plan.

“This plan update is more than just a vision for construction and renovation, it is a wholesale appraisal of how our campus can evolve to embrace the principles and commitments of Reach Higher 2025,” President Philomena V. Mantella said.

The plan, which was published on GVSU’s website in late January, focuses on bringing the Allendale, Pew and Health campuses into alignment with Reach Higher 2025.

It includes improvements to student services, enhanced student and residential life components and modernized academic environments that recognize the shift to online, hybrid and in-person learning. Projects are categorized into near-term (one to five years), mid-term (six to 10 years) and long-term (beyond 10 years) priorities.

The Master Plan update was the result of months of engagement with groups from a variety of Grand Valley communities.

It serves not only as a long-term look at Grand Valley’s plans, but also helps prioritize plans as the university assesses public and private funding opportunities.

The Master Plan update process included laying out six guiding principles, or “discoveries,” for planning on the three campuses:

  1. Be courageous to ‘future proof’ GVSU.
  2. Create consistent and more equitable campuses for empowered learners.
  3. Seek opportunities for meeting shared needs through partnerships.
  4. Engage neighborhood context and provide continuity.
  5. Update existing learning environments for engagement and active learning.
  6. Design for resiliency and sustainability to address climate change and protect the environment.

The plan also was built to align with the university’s Strategic Enrollment Management Plan (SEMP), which envisions 21 percent growth in students by 2025, including 41 percent more students on the Pew campus, 28 percent more students at the Health campus and an 11 percent increase in Allendale.

Here are a few highlights for recommendations in the plan at each campus over the next 10 years:

An illustration from the campus Master Plan update showing possible changes on the Allendale campus.
The Master Plan update outlines several possible changes at the Allendale campus, including changes to Campus Drive, housing and athletics facilities.


  • New housing – replace Kistler, Copeland and Robinson (KCR) halls with new housing providing more modern accommodations.
  • Improved athletics facilities – continue to improve existing athletics facilities while planning for new and expanded facilities that will help GVSU remain competitive.
  • New/expanded student center – renovate or replace the Kirkhof Center.
  • Become more bike/pedestrian friendly – convert Campus Drive to provide pedestrian priority with bus access, limiting automobiles. Laker Village Drive would be expanded to become the primary vehicular corridor.
  • Digital learning hubs – adding improved IT and instructional support in existing academic buildings.
  • Enhanced and relocated parking.
  • Childcare center – relocation of the childcare center to new facility at north end of campus with improved parking, playspace and modern amenities.
Illustration showing some possible changes suggested by GVSU's Master Plan at the Pew Grand Rapids campus.
An illustration showing some possible changes suggested by GVSU's Master Plan at the Pew Grand Rapids campus.


  • Blue Dot – the Center for Talent, Technology & Transformation, Computing Information System (CIS) – a hub with spaces and programs that embrace technology for human, societal and enterprise empowerment. This concept would involve renovation and expansion of the Eberhard Center.
  • Pew student center and dining hall – a new building functioning at “the heart of the campus” acting as a gateway to the Pew campus.
  • Enhanced parking - adding to parking structures and allowing for growth while allowing surface lots to be converted for greenspace or other development.
  • Student housing – adding up to 400 new housing units in two phases near Secchia and Winter halls.
  • Pew Green – replacing the surface parking lot in front of the Seidman College of Business with a greenspace that helps connect and provide an engaging outdoor “quad.”
An illustration showing possible changes at the GVSU's health campus from its Master Plan.
An illustration showing possible changes at the GVSU's health campus from its Master Plan.


  • Renovated classrooms – for active learning in the Cook-DeVos Center and Finkelstein Hall to better position the nursing and health programs for digital and active learning
  • Back fill space in the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health – convert space vacated by CIS graduate functions to faculty offices, conference and meeting rooms.
  • Additional housing in conjunction with the neighborhood plan.


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