Grandville Middle School

  • area / size 200,000 sqft
  • Completed 2023
  • GMB Architecture + Engineering completed a cohesive and dynamic space for a variety of learning and movement at Grandville Middle School in Grandville, Michigan.

    The new, multi-story facility boasts more than 200,000 square feet of teaching and learning space that is flexible for students in 7th and 8th grade. A large learning staircase with adjacent technology creates a space for students to socialize, have small group meetings, and eat lunch. Corridors are spacious and act as extended, active learning areas with movable furniture and technology. Emphasis on creating external and internal transparency with safety glazing gives the facility ample natural light but maintains student focus and security with sight lines for adequate supervision. A large media center with presentation spaces and multiple soft seating options fosters a sense of collaboration and innovation. Breakout rooms and large group spaces create flexible learning opportunities in a non-traditional setting to boost creative thinking.

    The new middle school offers students a variety of specialized spaces for a well-rounded educational experience. The academic wing is separated from shared resource areas with the cafeteria acting as a central hub in between. Specialized areas include a performing arts theater classroom, shop spaces, an art room, STEM classrooms, science labs with outdoor access, and band, orchestra and choir spaces. Multiple athletics spaces in the school give Grandville students plenty of opportunity to increase their physical activity and competitive sport pursuits. A large gymnasium with bleachers and an upper track is complemented by an adjacent wrestling and cheer space. The school also features an additional auxiliary gymnasium and a weight room with community access. Outside, middle school-aged students can participate in recreation time on the basketball courts, 40-meter sprint turf, or athletic fields.

    This project includes a significant upgrade in facilities for the district’s signature extracurricular robotics program, the Grandville Robodawgs. The robotics arena can host a variety of competitions (including Lego League and aerial drones) with up to 2,000 spectators. The adjacent multi-purpose gymnasium space can convert from hosting traditional sports to becoming a venue for FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC) and VEX Robotics with multiple competition fields and pits for up to 120 teams. Adjacent woodshop spaces, mini hardware store, concessions, and multiple load-in points with large rollup doors allow for robot building and practice, 3D printing, storage, and multi-purpose space.

    The facility’s design also incorporates many methodologies that enhance the social-emotional learning and development of middle school students. By creating intentional collaboration spaces that encourage relationship building to promoting nature rich learning with hands-on opportunities, the district kept student mental health in mind. A counseling area in the school also has a separate entrance from the main office to promote student’s privacy when seeking support services. Student focused messaging in the building encourages positivity and an inclusive sense of belonging for all students.

    Design: GMB Architecture + Engineering
    Construction Management: Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.
    Photography: Jason Keen