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Vote expected next month in framework of school building plan

Grand Rapids — After gathering community feedback on its Facilities Master Plan, the district is moving into the next phase of planning.

The Board of Education expected to vote on the plan’s initial framework Dec. 5. The full presentation can be viewed here

The plan addresses efficient use of schools and other properties while eliminating unused or unneeded space to save costs and distribute existing resources to focus on supporting students’ academic success. Currently the second largest landowner in Grand Rapids, GRPS has more than 50 percent of the 42 school buildings not at full capacity. Enrollment numbers are also a major consideration.

GRPS began creating the Facilities Master Plan and collecting feedback from staff, teachers, students and community members at the beginning of the school year.  These efforts will result in the consolidation of some school programs and repurposing property as additional educational space in a way that benefits the community. 

Community feedback for the Facilities Master Plan included a desire for transparency, investing in students and teachers and investing in unused buildings

At a community input session in October, Superintendent Leadriane Roby said, “We have too many buildings for not enough students. How do we take our current footprint and reinvest, repurpose and revitalize?”

GRPS Board of Education President Raynard Ross said the community’s voice has served as a critical part of the process.  

“The voices of our stakeholders and the scholars will be a significant part of guiding us in making these major decisions about the future of education in Grand Rapids,” he said. 

Student feedback for the Facilities Master Plan included a preference for smaller class sizes and improved school and playground facilities
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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter covering Byron Center, Caledonia, Godfrey-Lee, Kenowa Hills and Thornapple Kellogg. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry, before finding her calling in education reporting and landing at SNN. Alexis is also the author of a poetry chapbook, “Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed.”


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