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Middle school makeover

Godwin wraps up 2020 bond project with building improvements

Godwin Heights — Walking through the middle school, Principal Chad Conklin rattles off the improvements that have been made in the 93-year-old building.

There is new carpet in the hallway and classrooms, new windows throughout the building, new exterior doors, and a new heating and cooling system.

“Oh, the lights are all new which helps to make the halls much brighter,” Conklin said. “I guess it is a good thing we are walking around because I keep remembering things.”

The middle school improvements are the last phase of a $13.9 million bond issue approved by voters in 2020

Estimated to take two years, the 2020 bond included projects throughout the district such as roofing assessments and possible repairs; a new boiler; improved heating and cooling controls; new carpeting, doors, and windows; new vans and buses; renovations at the track and baseball field; new band instruments; and student technology upgrades.

“When you make an investment in the buildings you can see the students making a returning investment by taking care of the building as well as their own learning,” Conklin said. 

The Final Pieces

Perhaps the middle school’s most notable improvement is that of the bathrooms. All were remodeled with new flooring, sinks, toilets and stalls. 

“The doors were designed to be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant with the doors widened,” Conklin said. To accomplish this, the doors to some bathrooms had to be moved. “At the start of school, the students had to get used to where the doors are,” he noted. 

Another area that was extensively remodeled was the boys and girls locker rooms located in the gym area. These areas received new flooring, sinks, toilets, and showers. The locker bases have been recovered as well.

The last piece is new lockers for the area, which due to supply chain issues the district is still waiting for, Conklin said, adding, “Once the lockers are in, it will complete the bond.”

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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