GVSU to add pedestrian mall to downtown Grand Rapids campus

Grand Rapids

A rendering released by Grand Valley State University on Feb. 26, 2021 shows what the new pedestrian mall may look like on the Grand Rapids Pew Campus.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Valley State University is getting ready to green up a portion of its Robert C. Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

During a virtual meeting on Friday, the GVSU Board of Trustees approved a $3.9 million project to replace Mount Vernon Avenue SW between Fulton and Watson streets with a pedestrian mall featuring a pathway, green space and bicycle trail.

Tables and benches will line the pathway, which will connect GVSU’s Peter F. Secchia Hall, Winter Hall, the L. William Seidman and the Bicycle Factory.

The green space will host university and student recreation activities.

The redevelopment also calls for plaza spaces with raised planters and walls that offer seating and host art.

Karen Ingle, associate vice president for facilities planning at GVSU, says the project will enhance the campus and “enrich the student experience.”

GVSU Spokesperson Dottie Barnes says during construction, parking lots at the Seidman Center and Secchia Hall will be accessible through temporary entrances off Watson Street and the circle drive at Winter Hall, respectively. When the project is finished, both parking lots will be accessible via a new entrance boulevard.

Ingle said all current parking spots will remain intact.

The project’s cost will be covered by the university’s strategic capital reserve fund. GVSU says it owns all properties adjacent to Mount Vernon Avenue.

GVSU expects the redevelopment to wrap up in August.

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