Two pedestrian bridges at Grand Rapids Community College are now closed until Monday, June 6 for repairs.
The bridges that connect the top level of the Bostwick Parking Ramp to the Main Building and Student Center, are closed for concrete repairs and deck coating restoration.
The bridge repairs are part of this summer’s parking structure renovation project, totaling $800,000 of work between the two bridges and the concrete restoration, deck coating and parking striping of the ramp’s top level.
“We do this approximately every five years,” said James Van Dokkumburg, director of GRCC Facilities. “These types of buildings need to be restored because they get a lot of weather, salt during the winter and that corrodes the reinforcing steel in the concrete which helps hold the concrete together.”
Over the next two summers, work will be done on the rest of the Bostwick ramp, levels one through five. The total cost for all the ramp work is at $1.5 million. Van Dokkumburg said the majority of the cost and the work is on the top level.
The Main Building at GRCC is getting a new roof. The $600,000 project is halfway done, and is expected to be completed in three weeks.
Construction of GRCC’s new lab preschool building is still underway, where the former Barclay surface lot used to be. Right now, steel is being set and floor slabs are being poured. The $8.6 million project is expected be done in December.
Finally, GRCC is planning to completely renovate and modernize the Music Center, starting June. The project is expected to be done around the end of the next school year.
“We were going to gut the entire interior and start over but … many of the walls in the building are load bearing, meaning they’re holding up other parts of the building, so we can’t literally gut it down to the four walls,” Van Dokkumburg said. “But it still is in the same spirit … we’re taking it down to the bare bones, the bare structure, and putting it back together.”
Because of the structural limitations, a lot of spaces in the building will stay where they are, but they will be brand new. Renovation will touch every area, including the auditorium, practice rooms, faculty offices, classrooms, labs and the recording studio.”
The project will cost the college a total of $7.5 million.
The facilities team also completes many other small maintenance projects throughout the summer. Assessments are done every 3-5 years. The college will send information to the state to seek funding for projects annually and as funding becomes available, projects are tackled in order of priority.
“All the work has been bid out competitively, so we are always seeking good value,” Van Dokkumburg said. “These are good value projects.”
Meanwhile, the city of Grand Rapids is completely reconstructing a section of Bostwick Street between Lyon Street and Crescent Street, near the GRCC Police Station.
“Oftentimes on projects like this they’ll just do a repave,” Van Dokkumburg said. “Every so often they have to dig deep and redo the entire street.”
Van Dokkumburg said by July 16, the city will have replaced water mains, sewers, electricals, sidewalks, curbs and more.