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New space will leverage resources for 8th-graders

Remodeled Red Hawk Intermediate School gives students a new place

Cedar Springs — With its newly remodeled Red Hawk Intermediate School now closer to the high school, administrators are hoping students can connect with district staff and take advantage of some of the high school facilities.  

“We are excited about the opportunity for our eighth-grade students to be closer to resources at the high school, including the shared use of staff and facilities for programs like music and athletics,” said Russell Bray, Cedar Springs deputy director of operations and facilities. 

And with the early childhood program on the other side of the building, educators are thinking of ways to build interaction between these young students and the eighth-graders.  

“Even though eighth-graders and early childhood students will be separated within the building, some interaction, such as reading buddies, are being discussed to allow for some positive interactions between students at different stages of learning.”

The project construction manager is Triangle Associates and the architect is GMB Architecture + Engineering. This summer, a number of contractors have been at the intermediate school site upgrading HVAC and electrical systems, recarpeting offices and classrooms, painting and building a new secured entrance for the Early Childhood Center and District Office. The intermediate school project started last summer with the remodeling to house the district’s Early Childhood Center, including the addition of two classrooms.

The project is part of a $68 million bond proposal that was approved by voters in 2020. Bond funds have been allocated for improvements at every school building in the district. 

Photos by Dianne Carroll Burdick

A painter carefully paints the edge of the new doorway
A painter carefully paints the edge of the new doorway
Center, Caleb Christie, with JK Masonry, Inc, loads a block as his team members build a new wall for eighth-grade classrooms
Center, Caleb Christie, with JK Masonry, Inc, loads a block as his team members build a new wall for eighth-grade classrooms
Pablo Gomez, with Zeeland’s Vork Brothers Painting LLC, paints the newly-remodeled office at Red Hawk Intermediate
Pablo Gomez, with Zeeland’s Vork Brothers Painting LLC, paints the newly remodeled office at Red Hawk Intermediate
New cabinets, carpet, lights, and paint are just some of the updates for this new eighth-grade classroom
New cabinets, carpet, lights and paint are just some of the updates for this new eighth-grade classroom
From left, Cedar Springs Deputy Director of Facilities and Operations Russell Bray and Facilities Coordinator Alexa Neumann stand in a recently finished Early Childhood Center classroom
From left, Cedar Springs Deputy Director of Facilities and Operations Russell Bray and Facilities Coordinator Alexa Neumann stand in a recently finished Early Childhood Center classroom
Trevor Vanspriell, with DHE Mechanical Contractors, installs ducts in the ceiling of the former band room that will now be for district support staff
Trevor Vanspriell, with DHE Mechanical Contractors, installs ducts in the ceiling of the former band room that will now be for district support staff
From left, Cedar Springs Deputy Director of Facilities and Operations Russell Bray listens to Triangle Associates Superintendent Mike Brechting discuss the process of finishing the wood paneling in the new district office
From left, Cedar Springs Deputy Director of Facilities and Operations Russell Bray listens to Triangle Associates Superintendent Mike Brechting discuss the process of finishing the wood paneling in the new district office
A worker delivers paint to the painters working on the building
A worker delivers paint to the painters working on the building
The Red Hawk tile floor mosaic has been preserved for the new school
The Red Hawk tile floor mosaic has been preserved for the new school

Read more from Cedar Springs: 
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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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