Fourth generation company 'pioneers' Seidman, MIP Library
The Mary Idema Pew Library and Seidman Center have quickly become the architectural pride of Grand Valley State University, but they would not be as iconic as they are without the vision and work with Pioneer Construction.
Pioneer Construction has been working with Grand Valley State University for over two decades. The company was established in 1933 and is now in its fourth generation of ownership.
“We are builders that have a passion for detail, safety, schedule and budget,” said Scott Veine, Pioneer’s director of sustainability. “Our core of craftsmanship has been passed down over four generations. Although technology is a critical component in our management style, our trades make us who we are.”
Because the company is family owned, Veine believes Pioneer Construction has a stronger work ethic.
“We are built on a strong foundation with an eye to the future,” said Veine. “Our founder established a reputation for strong work ethics, personal service, quality craftsmanship, and a hands-on management approach. In honor of his legacy these qualities continue to be the trademark of our company.”
Veine was project manager for both the Mary Idema Pew Library and the Seidman Center; he saw the projects from design until completion. Veine was responsible for pre-construction advisory services, estimating, bidding, contracting and project coordination.
“I was supported by a large and talented team at Pioneer,” Veine said. “My team was comprised of estimators, project engineers, safety managers and the best superintendents in the business. I worked directly with the facilities team of James Moyer and Bob Brown at GVSU. I had the great opportunity to work with SHW (MIP library architect) and Robert AM Stern and Integrated Architecture (Seidman Center) in a way to understand their designs, understand their expectations and then instill those expectations to all of the builders that were part of the projects utilizing a collaborative solutions oriented approach.”
Pioneer has also been the general contractor for numerous other projects at GVSU including Padnos, the DeVos Center, CHS, Lake Ontario Hall, Neimeyer, South Campus Apartments and more.
Pioneer Construction was the controlling contractor in building the Mary Idema Pew Library. They managed all 34 trade contractor partners that were on site for the library, including 645 tradespeople. Overall, the team logged over 250,000 man-hours at the library.
“When you look at the Library, you see this wonderful inviting place that screams technology, yet has a subdued landing place for the students,” Veine said. “Every detail was thoughtfully executed from design to installation. As students walk through this wonderful facility, I hope they take time to look at the intricate woodwork, detailed stainless steel accents and architectural aesthetic detail around every corner.”
Pioneer Construction was also the controlling contractor in building the Seidman Center. There were 26 trade contractors, including 530 tradespeople on site and 200,000 man-hours worked on Seidman. In addition, Pioneer’s ironworkers erected the steel structure of the building, and the general trades division hung doors, built architectural wood walls, constructed and built every piece of casework, placed the tack boards and whiteboards and installed all of the landscape furnishings.
“When you walk into the Seidman Center, it’s classic architecture at its best,” Veine said. “Although biased, I would contend this is a architectural landmark for West Michigan. This building’s design was executed by internationally renowned architect Robert AM Stern. With the support of local architect (the Grand Rapids-based firm) Integrated Architecture, design became reality. The woodwork, stone, masonry, and attention to detail is timeless. I had the great fortune of touring many business schools in the design process, from University of Michigan to Harvard, and GVSU’s building is among the best.”
Pioneer collaborated with a number of different groups on the Mary Idema Pew Library project, including MIOSHA, SHW, the commissioning agents of FTC&H and the GVSU facilities teams. They were also were heavily engaged with GVSU public safety on site logistics and faculty/student safety, the library staff and the GVSU physical plant teams.
Pioneer collaborated with Robert AM Stern and Integrated Architecture on the Seidman Center. They also worked with Nicholson Construction (general contractor of the ‘Big Dig’ in Boston) to establish a new method of ground stabilization in West Michigan. Together, with subcontractors, structural engineers, soils engineers and architects, the team implemented a solution used for the first time Michigan.
“Pioneer would like to thank the thousands of donors, administration, building committees, faculty, staff, and the facilities group for giving us these fantastic opportunities,” Veine said. “But more importantly, we want to thank the students and their families that continue their support and engagement of this wonderful University. We understand the University is making a difference in the next generation and are proud to be a small part of it. Even though Pioneer comes from an assortment of educational backgrounds, we are all Lakers.”