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Museum School takes next step of innovation — into high school

GRPS cuts the ribbon on two renovated schools in one week


It was a long wait, but totally worth it for the students, parents and community supporters who celebrated the opening of the Grand Rapids Public Museum High School.

Kalala Penning, a seventh-grader at Museum Middle School, checks out one of the high school classrooms

An Aug. 15 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the school, created from the former Grand Rapids Public Museum at 54 Jefferson Ave. SE. Known to many city residents as the longtime home of historical artifacts and wildlife dioramas, the building now hums with learning among the more than 75 ninth-graders now enrolled. The program is an extension of the middle school program established at the Van Andel Museum Center in 2015.

The event was followed the next day by another ribbon-cutting, this one at Buchanan Elementary School, which has undergone an extensive renovation and addition.

Public Museum High School received a boost in funding from XQ: The Super School Project, which awarded the GRPS Museum School $10 million in grant funding, one of 10 nationwide so honored. A capital campaign and bond funding also supported the $10 million renovation of the historic building, which houses some 250,000 artifacts that will be used for student learning.

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Linda Odette
Linda Odette
Linda Odette is a freelance writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism. She’s worked primarily as an editor in feature departments at newspapers in West Michigan, including the Grand Rapids Press, the Muskegon Chronicle and the Holland Sentinel. She lives in East Grand Rapids near the Eastown edge, has a teenage son and a daughter in college. Read Linda's full bio or email Linda.

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