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

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 Cresa (PMC) 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 PMC’s expertise would help them overcome any challenges and successfully complete the program.

Owner’s representative facilitates capital program

Over the course of the program, the PMC 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, PMC 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.

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 PMC team, the construction of the new Southwest Side Community Campus High School was completed on schedule and within the intended budget. The oversight from PMC in the capacity of an owner’s representative provided tremendous value to the district. In partnering with PMC, 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.


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