Karen Ingle to assume associate VP of facilities planning role
Grand Valley State University will have a new head of facilities starting next month. With the announcement of former head of facilities James Moyer’s retirement, Karen Ingle will fill the position of associate vice president for facilities planning Sunday, April 1, and will be tasked with continuing the university’s commitment to sustainable development and efficient stewardship of campuses resources.
Ingle’s appointment comes at a time of change on campus, as increasing enrollment creates demand for additional buildings and facilities on campus. When Ingle arrived at GVSU in 1996, total university enrollment was 14,662. Today, that number has risen to more than 25,000, and the facilities department is tasked with creating a campus that can accommodate the influx of students.
“When I started in 1996, the Life Sciences building had just been completed,” Ingle said via email. “The Eberhard Center was the only GVSU building downtown, and there was no development in Muskegon or Holland. The university was experiencing a tremendous growth in enrollment, so there was a great demand for new programs and classroom space, offices and housing.
"There was also an effort underway to develop and expand the downtown campus and regional campuses in Muskegon and Holland.”
Ingle currently serves as a project leader in facilities planning.
“In 1996, GVSU had approximately 1.6 million square feet of building space and 1,600 beds on campus,” she said. “Since then, GVSU has built over 50 new building projects and major additions, has 6,000 beds on campus and is approaching six million square feet of building space on five campuses. So, Grand Valley has changed quite dramatically in the past 22 years.”
Ingle’s work within the facilities department has afforded her the opportunity to witness these changes at GVSU and has allowed her to develop important relationships across many departments. As the campus continues to change, input from students and faculty on the future of the campus will be integral in creating a healthy campus environment, and Ingle’s tenure with the university will serve as an asset in ensuring dialogue between all departments remains constructive.
GVSU’s emphasis on sustainability and green design is another key aspect of Ingle’s future position, and working as a senior project manager within the facilities department has given her experience in overseeing many recent developments on campus. LEED-certified structures such as the Mary Idema Pew Library, P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science and the L. William Seidman Center have all been constructed in recent years and illustrate the university’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
“GVSU is dedicated to sustainable design and has adopted LEED standards for new building projects,” Ingle said. “We have constructed 24 LEED-certified buildings and have more in progress. LEED-certified buildings result in sustainable site development, energy and water savings, a healthier environment and improved building performance. We will continue to pursue sustainable design and LEED-certification on buildings and sites going forward.”
Ingle looks forward to working within her department to develop projects that address challenges facing the university.
“I am looking forward to leading our group in supporting the planning initiatives of the university,” Ingle said. “Going forward, more emphasis will be placed on program development and support, facility maintenance, improving building performance and other objectives. And, of course, new construction to meet the needs of our campus.”
As GVSU undergoes change, the facilities department is tasked with ensuring the campus remains an inviting environment for learning and living. Ingle’s appointment as head of facilities comes at a unique time in the university’s history, as GVSU and the greater Grand Rapids area continue to grow.
Although the campus looks different than when she started in 1996, Ingle is optimistic about the future and looks forward to her role in improving life at GVSU.