GRCC Lakeshore Campus plans community open house

West Michigan has been watching Grand Rapids Community College’s new Lakeshore Campus take shape, and residents finally will be able to get a first look inside this month.

GRCC is inviting the public to an open house on Aug. 21. Staff will also be ready to assist anyone who is interested in taking classes in the fall. 

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., area residents can check out the renovations that transformed the former JCPenney space into GRCC’s consolidated Lakeshore home. In addition to refreshments and tours, they can sign up for classes leading to credits for degrees or transfer, or career certificates. Experts from the Enrollment, Financial Aid, Academic Advising, Student Records, Veterans Benefits, Student Life, Honors, and TRiO offices, as well as the College Success Center, will be on-site to help.

“Come in as a visitor; leave as a student,” President Bill Pink says. “Our new campus will allow even more Ottawa County residents to benefit from our life-changing programs. We are excited to have the community visit and have a look at what we know will be a vibrant hub of learning for students of all ages.”

Consolidated classes and services

GRCC purchased the 50,000-square-foot space in the Shops at Westshore mall in 2019, consolidating classes and services previously held at four Ottawa County sites. The new facility features classrooms, labs, and study spaces, along with testing, counseling, and placement services, as well as a satellite library.

The campus is centrally located on U.S. 31 and James Street, with a stop on the Macatawa Area Express bus line.

“Lack of transportation is a huge barrier to higher education for many Ottawa County residents,” Pink says. “The new site is more accessible, and consolidating all our programs into one place means students can more easily align their class schedules with their work and family obligations.”

Staff help with admissions, registration

Staff on hand at the open house can help with admissions and registration, and help potential students learn if they are eligible for the Michigan Reconnect program or federal Pell grants, which could substantially reduce costs.

Current class offerings can lead to an Associate of Arts, Associate of General Studies, and Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences-Industrial Maintenance Technology, as well as certificates in Industrial Maintenance, Industrial Technology, Tooling and Manufacturing, and Welding.

The expanded space will increase GRCC’s partnerships with area employers, and plans call for additional programs, possibly in health care, early childhood education, and teaching.

No reservations are needed to attend the Aug. 21 open house. For more information on GRCC’s Lakeshore programs, call 616-234-2200 or email [email protected]