HOLLAND TWP. – Construction is near completion on the Consolidated Lakeshore Campus of Grand Rapids Community College in Holland Township.
Work continued on the $ 12 million renovation project for the old JC Penney building at 12335 James Street in Westshore stores. The college is expected to begin occupying the building in early August and begin classes this fall.
“Things are going pretty well,” said director of outreach Dan Clark, who oversees the Lakeshore campus. “August. The 30th is the fall semester start date and we’ll be there.
The college moved to purchase the building in September 2019 with the goal of consolidating its four Ottawa County locations – Thompson M-TEC, Midtown Center, GVSU’s Meijer Campus, and West Ottawa High School – into one campus. .
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After:Construction progresses at GRCC Lakeshore Campus in Holland
After:Grand Rapids Community College Lakeshore Campus on Track for Fall 2021
After:GRCC purchases Holland JC Penney building and consolidates it into one Lakeshore campus
The 52,000 square foot building will include “state of the art” workforce training labs for programs such as machining and welding labs, biology and chemistry labs, computer classrooms and general education classrooms.
There will also be common areas for students, a learning resource center, and space to host community events. Several areas of the college have movable walls to expand the spaces for larger events.
The GRCC also extended the sidewalk of the main parking lot to make it feel more like a college, as opposed to a shopping mall. Trees have been planted in front of the building and rest areas will soon be installed.
The project is designed by GMB Architecture and Engineering, with Christman being the construction manager. The building will also be LEED certified, which means energy efficiency, sustainability and environmentally friendly construction.
Skylights have been installed throughout the facility and will feature “daylight harvesting” sensors that dim or turn off lights when appropriate levels of daylight enter the area. Large windows were also installed outside each classroom, providing plenty of natural light.
“It was all a solid brick building,” Clark said. “On the east, south and west sides you will see the glass that has been added. No matter which side of the building you are on, we have incorporated the (windows and) cutouts on all sides for all classrooms to add natural light.
One of the factors that prompted GRCC to choose the new home for its Lakeshore campus was the proximity to a bus line. The college worked with MAX Transit to add a new stop just outside one of the building’s side entrances.
“We’re going to add a stop for people who may not have transportation,” Clark said.
Before the start of the fall semester at the end of August, the GRCC plans to organize events for the community to come and see the space completed.
“We’re going to cut the ribbon, a community open house,” said Director of Communications Dave Murray. “We want the community to come in, walk in and experience it.”