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It’s official: old Kensington school building will come down

Future uses of green space yet to be decided

Grand Rapids — The Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted to demolish the former Kensington school building, 1031 Kensington Ave. SW, at the May 15 meeting. 

Superintendent Leadriane Roby explained the board would not be determining the specifics of the property’s future as a green space right now, at the meeting in the Southwest Middle High School – Academia Bilingüe.

“This demolition doesn’t mean it’s the final step,” Roby said. “There are several layers in this process, so other than leveling the building, the next steps for the property have yet to be determined.”

Roby added, “As part of our Facilities Master Plan discussion, we will have other conversations with the community about what that space will potentially become.”

The Ad Hoc Facilities Committee had previously recommended to the board to reject the three proposals received for the Kensington building and to move forward with demolition and restoration of the green space. The onetime Kensington Elementary School and former Adelante High School has been vacant since 2004. 

Read more from Grand Rapids: 
Math, reading lessons aim to curb summer learning loss
District moving forward with bond to reinvest in 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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