Guide to Grand Valley State University’s Downtown Campus

Grand Valley State University has two major campuses on the west side of Michigan. While the freshmen are mostly located on the Allendale campus, the Grand Valley Downtown Grand Rapids campus is more of a haven for the upper-classmen of the university.

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The downtown campus has a more updated, contemporary feel, with newer, more updated buildings. This campus has a different identity than the Allendale campus, offering a middle of the city experience to those who enjoy larger cities and communities.

This guide focuses on the Downtown campus of Grand Valley and touches on just a few of the perks of the campus.

  1. Where to Study.

Steelcase Library, located in the heart of the downtown campus, is the nicer of the two major Grand Valley libraries. Steelcase is a major company in Grand Rapids.

The library is spacious; the actual library is beautiful, featuring huge vaulted ceilings and multiple comfortable seating areas. Because the business school is located downtown, many of the books for higher-level classes are found here.

Technologically superb, many books are located in a back room unavailable to the public. At a desk, you ask for the book and view a robotic arm retrieve the box holding the book through a glass window. Connected to the library, multiple common areas are also set up for students to eat and study.

The Bitter End, located on Fulton is quickly becoming a hot spot for studying. Open 24 hours with free wireless, students come for a smaller, quieter area to study.

It is fairly small and does not seat many people, but it is the perfect place for a 1 a.m. study session. The coffee at The Bitter End is nice, and the coffee shop also offers snacks and bottled beverages to keep you up for any study session.

  • Where to Live.

As far as on-campus housing at the Downtown Campus, Grand Valley offers winter hall, an apartment-style residence directly across the street from the main downtown campus.

Winter hall does have RA’s and MA’s, however, which can be seen as a downfall for those upper-classmen not wishing to deal with “authority” where they live.

The beauty of living downtown, however, is that there are exponentially more homes up for rent. If you can find a few friends, you can easily handle payments to rent out a house as close, or as far, from campus as you please.

Apartment complexes such as American Seating are in high demand, as they are very contemporary and new. American Seating was created from an old industrial factory, offering two-story apartments and modern design, with high ceilings and exposed pipes.

  • How to Get Around.

Grand Rapids and the surrounding area offer bus transportation free to Grand Valley students. The 50 bus of “The Rapid” transportation system goes to and from the Grand Valley Allendale campus and the GVSU Downtown Campus. Using the connecting busses can transport you to grocery stores as well as Rivertown Crossings, the popular mall of the area.

  • Where to go out at Night.

Margarita Grill is a restaurant turned club, located on Ottawa Street. For those who are underage, this is the most popular club to go to at night.

On Wednesdays, ladies get in free, and the club does have a bar for those who are of age. A popular bar/club for those of age is Monte’s, a more modern, hip nightlife attraction located on Bridge Street.

Major drink specials happen on Tuesdays, giving you the most bang for your buck.

If you’re looking for entertainment that doesn’t feature a bar or club, the Van Andel Arena offers multiple attractions. Besides concerts, Van Andel is home to The Grand Rapids Griffons, the city’s NHL Farm Team, and the Grand Rapids Rampage, the city’s AFL team.

Downtown Grand Rapids is quickly growing and booming. Grand Valley State University is also a growing, booming university, and is seemingly growing right along side of the town.

For upper-class students, the downtown campus is ideal, offering close, off-campus homes to rent or buy, as well as a more business-like feel. With an interesting nightlife, Grand Valley State University’s Downtown campus welcomes a wide range of students and ensures that every student enjoys their time at the University.

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