Remodel of former Davenport Grand Rapids campus brings innovative classrooms to GRCC students

Deborah Johnson Wood

Grand Rapids Community College didn't have much opportunity to renovate any of the former downtown Grand Rapids campus of Davenport University before students occupied some of the classrooms last year. This year is a different story.

GRCC purchased the campus for $9.5 million in 2009, after Davenport announced its move to property in Caledonia.

This summer, the three-story Sneden Hall, 415 E. Fulton St., has received new infrastructure, HVAC, new décor, wireless Internet technology and new technology in the classrooms.

The most exciting development for faculty and students is the installation of Steelcase's LearnLab Environment in two classrooms, which could have a significant positive impact on how students learn. The technology includes the CopyCam Image Capturing System and the eno Interactive White Board.

"Tables are arranged in a five-point starfish design," says Vicki Janowiak, GRCC's executive director of operational planning. "There are three points around the room where images will be projected on mounted screens. From any point in the room any student can easily connect with the images."

"We can capture digital images of any work students may do on any of the white boards around the room, the instructor can load it to Blackboard and the students can use the image to expand on their own work," Janowiak says.

The technology also enables users to instantly email the work from any white board, print it or save it to flash drive or a LAN.

Eno Boards act as a white board, magnetic board and multimedia projection screen and enable users to make notes on a projected image and save everything to post, print, email or project later to continue working.

GRCC plans to conduct a research study on the effectiveness of the new concept.

Source: Vicki Janowiak, Grand Rapids Community College

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GRCC purchases former Davenport University for $9.5M, saves $25.5M compared to building new

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected] Development News tips can be sent to [email protected]
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