$55M GVSU science building creates state-of-the-art lab space, connects to student marketplace

It's been a big hole in the ground since early April. But now that big hole on Grand Valley State University's Allendale campus is full of infrastructure, footings, and foundations and will soon be topped off with a $55 million state-of-the-art science and biology building and an adjoining Laker Marketplace building.

The four-story, 151,000-square-foot science building received $30 million from Michigan's capital outlay program to help the university bring 14 biology research laboratories, faculty offices, student classrooms, and storage for field equipment to the university. The new facility will open up space for science education in the existing Padnos science building, now outgrown, when the biology department relocates after construction is completed.

Pioneer Construction Project Manager Scott Veine says the project has applied for LEED Silver certification and will have 38 different trades onsite during construction, including specialty trades to tackle the laboratory casework, such as installation of the lab equipment and safety equipment. He expects the project to require some 700 skilled tradespeople and about 300,000 hours of labor.

"The mechanical and electrical crews have to be very precise because we're dealing with lab gases, piping, vacuums," Veine says. "We also have large greenhouse on the project, so we have a greenhouse contractor and there's only a few of those across the country."

The separate-but-connected Laker Marketplace will feature a glass curtain wall and an outdoor pedestrian plaza. The building will house the university bookstore, which will move from the Kirkhof Center, and will also offer food services.

Veine expects to complete the marketplace in April 2015 and the science building in July 2015.

Architect: FTC&H
Construction manager: Pioneer Construction
Greenhouse construction: Rough Brothers, Inc.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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