By: Deborah Johnson Wood
Grand Rapids Community College
(GRCC) officials were prepared to build a new $35 million facility for
the college's health care program, but before they could break ground
another opportunity came up – the opportunity to purchase Davenport University's former Grand Rapids campus for $9.5 million.
150,000 square feet and numerous buildings that front along Fulton
Street from College to Prospect, GRCC now has plenty of space for its
programs and an extraordinary opportunity to increase enrollment.
"We're place bound on the current
campus and turned away over 1,000 students last year," says Anne
Mulder, interim president. "This could give us the possibility to add
3,000 students between the Grand Rapids campuses and our locations
throughout Kent and Ottawa counties. Given the economy and the times,
this will be the college of choice for most families that can't afford
more expensive colleges for the first two years."
Faculty and administration have yet to
decide which programs will relocate to what Mulder calls the East
Campus. After juggling departmental moves, she expects the downtown
campus's Peter and Pat Cook Academic Hall's
top four floors for an estimated $10 million. The college will ask the
state to pay for half the cost, a path GRCC planned to take when the
$35 million health care building was still on the table, thereby
reducing the state's portion from $17.5 million to $5 million.
Some Davenport offices will remain in
place for some months until its Caledonia campus can accommodate staff
and programs. During that time the East Campus, an easy walk from
GRCC's main campus, requires some renovation which will start
"It's in amazingly good shape," Mulder
says. "The Cook administration building was completely renovated in
2005 and it's magnificent inside. The oldest building is probably
Warren Hall and that was originally a furniture museum."
Source: Anne Mulder, Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) new East Campus.
Photos by Joshua Tyron -All Rights Reserved
Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].