So many Grand Valley State University students want to live on-campus that even the addition of three new housing buildings and 460 additional beds the college can't keep up with demand. The university received 6,500 applications for 5,464 beds two years ago, resulting in some 600 freshman and half of the sophomores living off campus against their preference.
In summer next year, the university hopes to ease the situation with the opening of 608 apartment-style housing units on campus – a net increase of 460 beds. Last April, the college broke ground on the $52.4 million housing project after razing Grand Valley Apartments.
Three L-shaped buildings surround a large green space that will have bike racks, benches and trees where students can toss a football or Frisbee, or just relax.
"This used to be an old parking lot and we are trying to put more green space on the site than there was when we started," says Scott Veine, project manager for Pioneer Construction, the construction manager.
Two- and four-bedroom furnished units offer full kitchens, common living areas and storage. Elsewhere in the buildings are study rooms that accommodate up to 12 people each, vending areas, mail areas, and laundry facilities. Some 75 percent of the interiors – nearly every space except the hallways – will receive daylight.
Veine expects the buildings to receive LEED-NC Gold certification.
"We have a series of five rain gardens that divert the storm water runoff from the Allendale storm water system and from the ravines that snake through the campus," he says. "The whole campus is built on high plateaus created by the ravines. Before, 100 percent of the runoff went into the ravines, but the new system creates new wetlands on the campus about a half mile away from the housing project."
Integrated Architecture is the architect.
Source: Scott Veine, Pioneer Construction; Kathy Ingle and Abigail Forbes, Grand Valley State University
Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].