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Design looks ‘like a campus,’ principal says


The design for a major high school expansion– including a 30-classroom addition – are taking shape.

“It just looks cool,” said Principal Nate Robrahn, who has been involved in the design process. “It will look like a campus.”

Construction will start in the spring on work that will eventually consist of $40 million in improvements at the high school, 1350 Prairie Parkway SW. The project is funded by the $79 million bond passed by voters last November, which is generating about $23.5 million for a first phase in 2018 and the remaining $56 million for a second phase in 2022.

The addition should be ready for students in 2021, with completion in 2022. Ninth-graders could join 10th through 12th graders at the high school in 2023. Currently, ninth-grade is at Wyoming Junior High.

Robrahn said he looks forward to offering his students wide-open spaces, with room for project-based and group learning.

See more designs of the planned expansion

Other highlights:

  • A large cafeteria with high ceilings to offer an open, coffee-shop feel
  • A Learning Stair to serve as a unique stairwell and place for formal and informal gathering
  • Classrooms will have removable walls to allow for team teaching and shared lessons
  • Wider hallways
  • Breakout areas for small group work and project-based learning
  • Added parking, ease and flow on exterior of the building
  • New softball field on the corner of Prairie Parkway and Burlingame Avenue
  • Media center relocation
  • Science lab renovation
  • Athletic upgrades to include space for wrestling and cheer practice, a new stadium entry plaza, new track and football field surfaces, press box updates, concession area upgrades
  • Interior and exterior lighting upgrades
  • Parking expansion on the west side of the building
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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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