Opportunity for All
Opportunity for All. That’s the world GMB Architecture + Engineering strives to see. We are just one part of the learning ecosystem that will make that happen.
At GMB, we believe education provides transformational opportunities for our communities, industries, and our world. We have evolved our business to foster a culture of continual learning inside and outside the organization, and we’re honing our expertise on projects and work that support this vision. Our integrated team of educational planners, architects, and engineers partners with communities and educational institutions to create ecosystems that result in continual learning, and ultimately, opportunity for all.
Extending throughout Michigan’s West Coast, into the furthest reaches of the state, and in adjacent regions including Indiana and beyond, GMB is creating learning ecosystems that will provide opportunity for entire communities. In the Lakeshore area specifically, GMB partners with communities and schools to foster learning opportunities for the youngest members of our community through early childhood education, and long into adulthood through college and professional learning programs.
Grand Rapids Community College has offered classes on the Lakeshore, spread out in four locations, for more than 20 years. In August, the college celebrated the transformation of a shuttered department store into a vibrant learning hub for students of all ages with the grand opening of the new campus, located in the former JCPenney in The Shops at Westshore mall. One consolidated campus creates synergy and collaboration across programs that are physically co-located, and provides opportunities for operational efficiencies and partnerships with Grand Valley State University’s Meijer campus.
Designed by GMB with construction led by The Christman Co., the building will be LEED certified as part of GRCC’s sustainability goals. The new Lakeshore Campus consolidates resources and programs in the heart of Holland Township with access to public transportation, employers, and services. The 52,000-square-foot facility has nine classrooms, four computer labs and five unique labs for biology, chemistry, electronics, automation, welding and machine tooling, housing programs for students working toward an associate degree or a career-focused certificate.
Partnering with the ODC Network, GMB designed and developed the Window on the Waterfront (WOW) Nature Play Park, which recently wrapped a crowdfunding campaign for a matching grant to complete the project in downtown Holland. The WOW Nature Play Park incorporates a nature-based playground within an existing outdoor community space, and will include climbing structures and slides, fully accessible walking paths, creative play areas, an amphitheater and pavilion, and abundant landscaping. Primarily constructed of natural materials and native plants, the park will feature natural play areas and green space in lieu of traditional playground equipment, all meant to foster discovery, learning, and well-being. The wonderful example of sustainability at work in our community also will reduce embodied energy, promote water conservation, and contribute to the area’s beautiful natural surroundings.
The team at GMB Architecture + Engineering is made up of trained educational planners, designers, and engineers who foster continual learning by partnering with communities and educational institutions to live out their purpose and vision through successful planning and building campaigns.
This article was originally published in The West Coast Way, October 2021.
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