ALLENDALE — The Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees approved the purchase of an office building in Detroit that will house offices and support space for the university’s Charter School Office.

The board also approved the construction of a new field research building that will serve the needs of the university’s Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon.

Grand Valley oversees 24 schools located in and around the city of Detroit and currently provides professional development and programming in rental property in the area. The Detroit purchase will allow Grand Valley’s Charter Schools Office to maintain permanent office and training space to support the charter schools it oversees in the Detroit area.

The three-story office building on 0.26 acres is located at 163 Madison, across from Comerica Park. The university plans to purchase the building from Waycor Development Company, which currently uses the building for office space, for $3 million.

The building was built in 1908, and while it’s in good condition, some remodeling will be needed to accommodate classrooms and compliance with ADA and fire codes.

Grand Valley State University currently charters 44 school buildings, serving nearly 23,000 students. For more information see

As for the Muskegon building, it will be located on the site of the existing field station building on the shores of Muskegon Lake, near the Lake Michigan Center, 740 W. Shoreline Drive, in Muskegon. The approval came Friday morning at the Board of Trustees meeting in Allendale.

The $3.4 million project will meet the immediate and long-term needs of the institute and will be paid for by a combination of an existing federal grant, private donations, and university capital development funds.

Construction drawings are expected to be completed in June 2012, with construction starting in August 2012. The new building is expected to be finished by December 2013. The old field station building will be removed to make space for the new facility.

The new building will include laboratories dedicated to studying the emerging issues facing Lake Michigan in the 21st century, a mesocosm (tanks) facility, boat loading bay, researcher and graduate student offices, secure storage, and will cover 14,800 gross square feet.

The building will be designed and built to meet stringent LEED certification standards by using materials and systems that will be selected for their durability, sustainability, energy efficiency, and their ability to decrease long-term maintenance and operations costs. Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr, and Huber Inc. will serve as the project architect.

The Annis Water Resources Institute at the Lake Michigan Center on Muskegon Lake includes classrooms, conference areas, analytical labs, research labs, mesocosms, dock space, and ship support. AWRI promotes collaborative research and educational programming and offers research space and equipment to collaborative efforts. As part of the research mission, AWRI operates two research vessels, the D.J. Angus and the W.G. Jackson, and offers the Water Resources Outreach Education Program for K-12 schools and community groups.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s