GRAND RAPIDS — Two higher educational institutions plan to spend more than $82 million combined to expand their downtown campuses.
The state’s 2018 fiscal year budget, signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder, includes allocations for expansions at both Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College.
At GVSU, the expansion will allow the school to better meet the demands of its growing health sciences program with a new facility along Michigan Street. GVSU’s board approved a $70 million expansion of its health campus that will include a five-story, 160,000-square-foot building at 333 Michigan St. NE, according to a statement.
The university currently uses the site as a surface parking lot. The property is located next to the existing Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences and within blocks of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall that’s currently being built on Lafayette Avenue.
The state budget allocates about $29 million for the project, with the rest coming from private donors and university bonds. Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2018, with the opening set for May 2021.
The 84,000-square-foot Finkelstein Hall should be completed next May.
“This approval is a major turning point for Grand Valley’s health programs,” GVSU Provost Maria Cimitile said in a statement. “Demand has exceeded our ability to accept highly qualified students, and these two new buildings, right in the middle of the city’s vibrant medical community, will provide exceptional opportunities for more students to attend Grand Valley and benefit from the unique combination of liberal education with professional training. This combination makes our graduates highly employable by area hospitals and medical facilities.”
Meanwhile, GRCC expects to spend $12.7 million to expand and update its Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center (ATC) located on its campus in downtown Grand Rapids.
The state budget allocated around $6.4 million toward the project, which will focus on ramping up the college’s computer and manufacturing programs.
“We are so thrilled to have our capital outlay request selected by the state for funding,” GRCC President Bill Pink said in a statement. “I firmly believe that GRCC must stay relevant to the needs of West Michigan, and the expansion that will be done through these funds will help ensure that we do just that, specifically in the manufacturing and I.T. sectors.”