The Grand Valley State University community celebrated the formal dedication of the new P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science August 28 on the Allendale Campus.
In his opening remarks, President Thomas J. Haas welcomed and recognized the nearly 700 in attendance, including those who collaborated to bring the Kindschi Hall of Science to life.
“As a scientist myself, I could not be more excited about the opportunities this facility provides for our students,” Haas said. “The addition of this facility significantly expands our space for students to conduct research with faculty, which is a highlight of the Grand Valley experience.”
A video highlighting the impact of the new Kindschi Hall of Science can be viewed here.
The new science building is named in honor of P. Douglas Kindschi, who has served the university for nearly 40 years in many different capacities, including dean of Science and Mathematics, and is currently the director of Grand Valley's Sylvia and Richard Kaufman Interfaith Institute.
"My nearly 40 years at Grand Valley have been more fulfilling than anyone could have imagined," Kindschi said. "To help a university grow from 5,000 to 25,000 students is an opportunity few in academia have enjoyed."
The 151,720 square-foot, four story building includes nine classrooms, 15 teaching laboratories, 14 faculty/student research laboratories, a computational research lab, study spaces, offices and conference rooms.
Provost Gayle R. Davis said the new lab spaces will grow the important relationships between faculty and students, which will ultimately benefit the state of Michigan.
“Students who engage actively with their faculty and their subjects are most likely to succeed in college and in life. It takes a specialized space to facilitate those important collaborations," Davis said. "With this new facility we’ll be able to involve many more students in extracurricular research with their faculty members – strengthening the basis on which they will grow the sciences for our state.”
Academic programs housed in the Kindschi Hall of Science include Biology and Cell and Molecular Biology, as well as offices for the Movement Science Department and the Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Services and Information Technology unit.
Madelaine Cleghorn, Student Senate president, said Grand Valley students actively take note of the investments the university makes to support its student body.
“When students see more buildings like this on campus, we don’t just see a building, we see Grand Valley’s priorities and its commitment to students’ success," Cleghorn said. "We also see the incredible support from our community and it reminds us that we’re a part of something bigger than just ourselves.”
The $55-million dollar, state-of-the-art facility received $30 million from the State of Michigan; the remaining $25 million came from a variety of university resources, plus private donations. The Kindschi Hall of Science is the first state-funded construction project on the Allendale Campus in 20 years.
Representatives from the state included Sen. Arlan Meekhof, (R-Grand Haven), Senate Majority Leader; Rep. Adam Zemke, (D-Ann Arbor), vice chair of the Capital Outlay Subcommittee; and Rep. Roger Victory, (R-Hudsonville). Victory said the Kindschi Hall of Science is a great asset to Grand Valley and the state.
“The return on investment will come in the form of developing the knowledge and skills needed for our community and the growth of Michigan,” said Victory. "Grand Valley has one of the highest retention rates of its graduates who continue to live, work and invest in our community and our state."
More than 400 donors contributed to The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Margin of Excellence for Science Endowment Fund, which provides materials, technology and research opportunities across the university for students to have hands-on experiences in and outside of the classroom.