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All-new classrooms and more await East Oakview students

Updates to the elementary school will be ‘a positive for the neighborhood.’

Northview — Students arriving at East Oakview Elementary for the first day of school tomorrow will walk into what is essentially a brand-new building. 

And other than a few tell-tale finishing touches here and there, they’ll be largely unaware that most of their school was still under construction just weeks ago.

“We’re down to the wire, but we’ve got a plan,” said Clayton Martin, senior project manager for Rockford Construction, on Aug. 4 when district administrators and principals toured the building in neon green safety vests and hard hats.

Besides all-new classrooms, East Oakview has new or upgraded plumbing, electrical and heating and cooling systems; a relocated front entrance and main office; new playground design and equipment; a new parking area; and new sidewalks that include a path around the playground that connects to the adjacent neighborhood. 

“This is really going to be a positive for the neighborhood,” said Principal Danielle Stanley, noting the reconfigured student drop-off area designed to ease traffic backups onto adjoining residential streets.

The district’s 2020 bond project summary at a glance

More to Come

The Aug. 4 tour included stops at the renovated Plainfield Avenue space that will house the Northview Next Learning Center, and the freshly laid track at the high school.

The projects mark the first phase of construction in a $36.7 million, no-mill increase bond request for building and systems improvements throughout the district, which passed in May 2020.

Other improvements, expected to be started in 2022, include adding multi-purpose spaces and upgrading major systems and classrooms at other elementary and middle schools, as well as to parking and security. Improvements to the Performing Arts Center and system upgrades also are planned at the high school.

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio


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