GV plans to build new living center

By Carly Simpson | 12/1/14 6:28am

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Megan Scott, Alex Wagner, and Arianna Stark-Norton. GVL / Brianna Olson.


Originally published 12/1/14

Space has been tight in on-campus housing at Grand Valley State University, however, the university is planning to build a new living center in Robinson Field for incoming first year students.

The project is still in the planning process, but the new living center will be able to accommodate approximately 400 to 500 students, along with several housing staff members, said Eric Cousins, Student Senate’s vice president for campus affairs.

Currently the new living-learning center is being planned as one building and will be a traditional-cluster style building, Cousins added.

“This means that residents will be arranged in a handful of small communities, or clusters, within each floor that will consist of 10-20 residents,” he said. “Studies show, and I can attest to this being an RA myself, that this is an optimal number of people to build effective community.

“This living center will blend in nicely with its surroundings while providing a beautiful, fresh environment for new generations of Lakers to live, learn and lead.”

Construction is tentatively planned to start in summer 2015, pending approval of the project, said Andrew Beachnau, director of housing and health services. He added that construction is planned to be completed by fall 2016.

GVSU currently has 6,000 beds on campus for incoming freshmen and returning upperclassmen. The university saves 3,500 to 3,600 of those beds for freshmen and 2,400 to 2,500 for upperclassmen, according to the Lanthorn’s Oct. 30 article “Not enough beds” by Stephanie Brzezinski.

However, GVSU saw 4,226 students come to campus this fall as freshmen, which is 626 more than the university has arranged to accommodate. The planned living center at Robinson Field will help offset some of GVSU’s growing housing needs.

In addition to a new living center, the project may also include a few amenities for students.

“As the plan currently stands, existing living centers are being assessed to determine space for adding basketball and volleyball courts, as well as additional recreational area,” Cousins said.

Robinson Field is located in front of the Hoobler and Johnson Living Centers on GVSU’s Allendale Campus.

There are no cost estimates for the project yet.

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