Skip to Content

Grand Rapids Public Schools partners with owner’s representative to build new high school

The Plante Moran Realpoint team provides great service and is very knowledgeable. The project team has thought creatively to stretch our dollars and our impact.
Larry Oberst
Chief Financial Officer (retired)

The client

Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) is the largest school district in western Michigan serving nearly 15,000 students with over 2,800 employees.

New high school construction

As a part of the $175 million bond program approved by voters in 2015, GRPS strategically elected to allocate $20 million to the construction of a new high school within the southwest quadrant of the city, in the historic neighborhood of Roosevelt Park. The district made the decision out of the desire to provide community members and students with a robust high school curriculum in the vicinity of local elementary and middle schools.

The design of the four-story, 70,000-square-foot building began in 2017. In recognition of the breadth and scope of the project, GRPS acknowledged the tremendous value that a full-service owner’s representation firm could offer in guiding the program and engaged Plante Moran Realpoint (PMR), formerly Plante Moran Cresa, to act as its representative. With more than 25 years of experience and the successful oversight of billions of dollars in school bond projects, the district was confident PMR's expertise would help them overcome any challenges and successfully complete the program.

The open-concept "Knowledge Center," located on the third floor, includes diverse collaboration spaces, media, and presentation areas.
Collaboration space for GRPS.

Grand Rapids Southwest Side High School Knowledge Center

Owner’s representative facilitates capital program

Over the course of the program, the PMR team leveraged its knowledge and experience in overseeing capital programs to provide enhanced outcomes in the following areas:

  • Monitoring the budget and scope to align with predetermined project parameters
  • Coordinating the efforts of construction managers, architect engineers, and vendors within each phase of the project
  • Reviewing contractual documents and ensuring adherence to industry standards
  • Collaborating with the district to make necessary decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner
  • Identifying key action plans amid the pandemic and establishing a recovery plan to ensure on-time project completion

The building was awarded LEED silver certification, serving as an industry standard for excellence in sustainability. To achieve this award, PMR and the project team established environment-friendly strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of the project and future operations of the building, while also overcoming challenges with the property’s existing soil conditions.

View GRPS school gym.
Other features include modern computer labs, a state-of-the-art media center, and a new gymnasium and locker rooms.

Grand Rapids Southwest Side High School gymnasium

The new institution will offer a dual immersion program to provide students with the opportunity to learn from both Spanish and English instruction. Other features include collaboration rooms, modern computer labs, a state-of-the-art media center, and a new gymnasium. Initial capacity is predicted to be 500 students. One of the goals of the new school is to revitalize the Roosevelt Park neighborhood; several areas of the high school will cross-serve as academic and community spaces.

School construction project on budget and on schedule

As a result of successful project management from the PMR team, the construction of the new Southwest Side Community Campus High School was completed on schedule and within the intended budget. The oversight from PMR in the capacity of an owner’s representative provided tremendous value to the district. In partnering with PMR, the district was able to navigate the unforeseen challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that the project’s goals were fully realized.

With the expertise that comes from dedicated and passionate client representation, our team is well-equipped to facilitate your project needs from start to finish. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

Want great space like this? Contact:

Aerial photo of the KONG distribution facility in Long Beach, CA

The KONG Company, LLC

Akron, OH

With business booming, The KONG Company faced a common real estate decision: should it lease, buy, or build a larger distribution facility?

Case Study / 1 min read

Learn More
Novi Community School District high school athletic building and track, as seen from outside

Novi Community School District

Novi, MI

To keep its mission of “a commitment to excellence,” Novi Community School District used funds from two voter-approved bonds over eight years to make improvements across district facilities and build a new Early Childhood Education Center.

Case Study / 1 min read

Learn More
Royal Oak City Hall

City of Royal Oak

Royal Oak, MI

The City of Royal Oak engaged Plante Moran Realpoint as a knowledgeable development advisor to help move forward a $100 million public-private partnership (P3) redevelopment of the City Center Complex.

Case Study / 1 min read

Learn More
Warren Mott High School Exterior

Warren Consolidated Schools

Warren, MI

Since 2000, Warren Consolidated Schools, the tenth largest school district in Michigan, has engaged Plante Moran Realpoint for bond planning and owner’s representative services for four bond programs totaling more than $500 million of site work, renovations, and additions.

Case Study / 2 min read

Learn More
Lobby at the Plante Moran Southfield Office

Plante Moran

Southfield, MI | Chicago, IL

To accommodate growth and workplace connectivity, Plante Moran engaged its affiliate real estate consulting and owner’s representation firm, Plante Moran Realpoint, to assist in optimizing its office space in Chicago and Southfield.

Case Study / 1 min read

Learn More
Aerial photo of Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons, and Detroit, Michigan, skyline

Olympia Development of Michigan

Detroit, MI

The District Detroit is a vibrant mixed-use development in the heart of Detroit, Mich. Anchored by the Little Caesars Arena, the 50-blocks encompass new construction dedicated to office, retail, residential, hospitality, and entertainment.

Case Study / 1 min read

Learn More