Electrical firm Feyen Zylstra celebrates new HQ expansion, renovation at former elementary school

To celebrate the completion of a massive expansion renovation project at its new headquarters – a former Kenowa Hills Public School building in Walker – Grand Rapids-based electrical contractors Feyen Zylstra have announced Dec. 4 as the date of its official ribbon cutting and open house event. 

Feyen Zylstra relocated from its former home at 201 Front Street NW in mid-October after finishing an 8,000-square-foot expansion to the former Fairview Elementary School's gymnasium to create a total of 15,000 square feet of warehouse space. Combined with 29,000 square feet of office space, Feyen Zylstra's new digs at 2396 Hillside Drive NW top out at 44,000 square feet. 

Alongside Erhardt Construction and architects at Progressive AE, Feyen Zylstra reused the wood from the old bleachers and gymnasium floor in the build-out of new walls and fixtures, adding new windows and other exterior updates to help modernize the building's aesthetics. 

CEO Nate Koetje says although Feyen Zylstra had the opportunity to build something brand new from the ground up, the company and its employees made a deliberate decision to repurpose the abandoned elementary school building, which they purchased for $475,000 in late 2013. 

"Our business, in particular, exists to do good," Koetje says. "The chance to do that in a way that benefits not just our employees – which the space certainly does – but also the community as a whole was one that we didn't want to pass up… As an organization we have a long history of community involvement and this just felt like a natural next step for us."

With 330 employees currently on its roster, Feyen Zylstra has added 40 new jobs since 2008 and nearly doubled its revenues since 2009, from around $30 million to nearly $60 million last year. 

The new Feyen Zylstra headquarters is designed as a collaborative workspace, something Koetje describes as facilitating natural situations for its employees to have "impromptu discussions really leading and reinforcing [its] ability to provide creative solutions for customers." 

Koetje says the space not only fits the workplace culture of Feyen Zylstra much better than its old offices, but also has acted as a boost in employee morale. 

"It certainly is a momentum boost and a morale boost for our employees," he says. "The space is open; it's collaborative, a lot of natural daylight and a lot of general energy throughout all of our employees right now." 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Feyen Zylstra 
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