Just days after the Lakeshore campus ribbon ceremony, Grand Rapids Community College cut the ribbons at four major renovation locations in downtown Grand Rapids including Raleigh J. Finkelstein (RJF) Hall and DeVos campus Tuesday, Aug. 24.
Construction ended at some of the locations in early 2021, while other projects are currently wrapping up before the fall semester commences. In total, GRCC underwent roughly $32.9 million in downtown campus renovations.
“These renovations allow us to modernize buildings and expand programs, but we also are able to honor the legacies of people who, for decades, have worked to make our college and community stronger,” stated GRCC President Bill Pink in a press release.
Previously known as the Main Building, RJF Hall was renamed in 2019 to honor the support of Raleigh J. Finkelstein, a business leader and philanthropist who has supported higher education in West Michigan.
Nearly half a century after the original building was constructed, RJF Hall had the highest costs of renovations done at $15 million. Students will see a reconditioned main campus, as the new designs created a variety of revamped services. The renovations include a new financial aid and admissions office, dining areas, modernized classrooms, gathering areas, and a nearly completed Veterans Center.
GRCC added a $12.7 million building to the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center. The project includes a two-story, 18,416-square-foot expansion with machine tool and data center labs as well as a renovated open computer lab and increased student gathering and study spaces.
The ATC building is named after business and community leaders Tom and Joyce Wisner and David and Michelle Bottrall, who have supported GRCC for many years.
“We are preserving what made these buildings special, but making sure they are able to meet the needs of the students of today, and tomorrow,” Pink stated.
Just a few blocks away from RJF Hall, the DeVos campus saw renovations at the Custer Alumni House and Steven C. Ender Hall buildings.
Steven C. Ender Hall was named after GRCC’s ninth president. Its wood interiors were renovated to help preserve the space for student-focused departments, including the Experiential Learning and Honor programs, Student Employment Services, and Student Life clubs/organizations. The overall cost was $3.4 million.
At the Custer Alumni House, the center of alumni activities and the GRCC Foundation, $1.8 million was spent on renovations including the installation of a new kitchen and additional meeting space for gatherings and receptions. The house is named after community leaders and philanthropists David and Karen Custer.
Classes for the upcoming fall semester will commence Monday, Aug. 30. Students who need assistance with current/future enrollment, financial aid, and more, can visit the new student services offices located on the first floor of RJF Hall.