Construction of Mary Idema Pew Library nears completion – Grand Valley Lanthorn


For many students, the Mary Idema Pew Library (MIPL) is the heart of the Grand Valley State University campus. MIPL provides a quiet study space for students with a view of the GVSU campus and the wooded areas surrounding it. This aesthetic aspect of the bookcase was temporarily compromised with the glass replacement project.

The project, which began in May 2021, is scheduled to end in January 2022, according to management plans for the library’s glass replacement site. In November, the project is focused on the south side of the building, blocking the walkway between the MIPL and the Kirkhof Center and preventing entry and exit through the south entrance.

The walkway and south entrance will reopen in December, as the project moves east and the last side of the building for repair. Pedestrian traffic will be redirected south during this period.

The MIPL remained open throughout the duration of the project. However, despite the efforts of the facilities department, the construction caused minor disruption for students using the library.

The Knowledge Market, which offers students peer-to-peer collaborative services, is particularly affected by the construction. AJ Zylstra, a young behavioral neuroscience student who works in the knowledge market as a research consultant and receptionist, said the sound of the construction is often annoying.

“There is a constant, high-pitched sound as they are using multiple machines at the same time,” Zylstra said. “They start working even before the library opens and go until about 6 p.m.”

The knowledge market offers virtual appointments in addition to the in-person appointments and walk-in tours they offer. This is beneficial for any student wishing to avoid distractions.

As the finals approach, the Knowledge Market is preparing for further consultation with students. Zylstra said they hope the construction doesn’t deter students from seeking help.

“Around mid-semesters and finals, professors tend to assign more work, so we get an influx of students,” Zylstra said. “The construction takes all day and there is constant background noise, but that doesn’t detract too much from our consultations. ”

Beyond the knowledge market, students who study independently in the library are delighted with the end of construction. Mya Wielgosz, a junior at GVSU, said she liked the reading room on the third floor of MIPL.

“The construction happened with my studies because of the first month of the school year, this part of the library was completely closed,” said Wielgosz.

The Reading Room is not the only area that was temporarily closed during construction. The upper balcony on the fourth floor and the courtyard accessible from the third floor are also closed. This not only limits where students can study, but crowds in areas of the library where students can go. The reading room has reopened, providing additional space for students who prefer secluded spaces to work.

“With construction still in progress, it’s constantly noisy and difficult to concentrate because of the people next to me outside,” Wielgosz said. “I’ve found ways to stay focused now, like taking breaks from studying and listening to music to block out the noise. I am happy that GVSU is taking care of the maintenance of the library, as it is one of the buildings known for its beauty.

The GVSU community can expect the construction of the library to be completed in January 2022 at the start of the new semester. Currently, library staff and Knowledge Market student workers are on hand to assist students during the final weeks of the fall semester.


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