GRCC Lakeshore Campus, Ender Hall transformations earn national recognition for architectural and engineering

Lakeshore campus.

Ender Hall.

The transformation of a shuttered JCPenney department store into the vibrant learning hub that is the GRCC Lakeshore Campus and the renovation of historic Steven C. Ender Hall into a new student space has earned national recognition for the architectural and engineering firms leading the projects.

Both facilities earned Outstanding Project in the Community College Renovation/Adaptive Reuse/Restoration category by Learning by Design magazine. GMB Architects and Engineering were honored for the work on the GRCC Lakeshore Campus, and Progressive AE was saluted for Ender Hall.

Learning by Design showcases the best in the education design and construction market, recognizing innovative pre-K to 12 schools and cutting-edge colleges and universities.

“This well-earned recognition reflects the innovation and expertise of the architecture and engineering firms here in West Michigan,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “These are very different projects, but both will help our college better serve our students and community. We’re proud of these facilities, and also the partnerships with the people who can put our dreams into blueprints and support our students long into the future.”

The 52,000-square-foot GRCC Lakeshore Campus opened in August 2021 in the Shops at Westshore Mall, 12335 James St. in Holland. The 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.

“GMB is honored to be a part of this transformational project for the Lakeshore community,” said David Wilkins, GMB’s higher education practice leader. “This renovated building has created a whole new student experience on a single campus that connects this community with amazing assets and infrastructure. This building and program is 100% focused on education, not only for traditional learners but excels at fostering lifelong learning.”

The building also has spaces for advising and counseling and other student support services and a satellite library, as well as areas for use by community groups.

GMB Architecture + Engineering designed the project, and construction was directed by The Christman Co.

The Learning by Design salute is the second for Progressive AE and the Ender Hall project. It was honored by American School & University magazine in December.

“It’s so exciting to work on a project that brings new life to a historic building!” Progressive AE Practice Leader Tod Stevens said. “The contrast of materials creates a rich dialogue between the old and new, and advances the sustainability ambitions of both Grand Rapids Community College and Progressive AE!”

The building at 455 E. Fulton St. was previously known as the Mabel Engle House. It was constructed early in the 20th Century by a lumber baron for his family. GRCC purchased it from Davenport University for use as offices.

The 3,850-square-foot Steven C. Ender Hall is now used for student-focused departments, including the Experiential Learning and the Honors programs, and Student Employment Services. It also provides space for Student Life clubs and organizations to meet.

Pioneer Construction carried out the renovations.

Honors are determined by a jury of architects and educational facility planners recommended by the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education and Association for Learning Environments.

Both projects are striving for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, part of GRCC’s sustainability goals.

Raider Salute from Francisco Ramirez

A big Raider Salute to everyone who participated and volunteered during the 2022 Main Campus Spring Open House on Saturday.

We believe it was a success and it could not have happened without your help. We had 137 registered attendees and most attended with one or more guests. We estimate total attendance between 400-450 people. Kudos GRCC family! Our next step is to select the GRCC Foundation scholarship winner, notify them, and highlight them through our communications department.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff who spoke with our visitors during our resource fair about our programs and departments. Also, thank you to the volunteers who assisted in the various roles throughout the day. It takes time to plan and execute such a large event and the planning committee was instrumental in the months in advance of the Open House. Lori Cook, Celina Flegal, Jaqueline Araiza, Jose Mora, Sherry Sokolowski, Daniel Walsh, and Whitney Marsh did a fantastic job!

We are hosting the 2022 Lakeshore Campus Spring Open House on Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Many of you have already signed up, but if you have not and you would like to participate during the resource fair, please complete the sign-up form. If you would like to volunteer to help instead of attending the resource fair, please email me with your interest.

 Francisco Ramirez

2022 Impact Award Winner

Each year there are many stories about how working as a Student Employee at GRCC has had an impact on students’ lives. With this in mind, Student Employment Services recently sponsored the “Impact Award“.

Supervisors were asked to submit a 1-2 page nomination letter centered on the topic/question: How has the experience of working as a Student Employee provided a positive impact on a student’s life inside and outside of GRCC.

This year’s winner is Audrey Gower who works in the Ford Fieldhouse. Audrey’s supervisor is Sue Goeman, who wrote:

“Audrey has certainly improved our department. When we, like so many other places, found ourselves short staffed, she rounded up more quality student workers and trained them to keep the team strong. They, much like her, are punctual, dependable, and hard working. Audrey encourages and motivates everyone around her. She resembles a well-loved coach firing up her team. If I need a job done, such as setting up for an event, Audrey is the key ingredient to getting it done. She manages to put each player in the right position. They are a well-oiled machine run by a very efficient skipper. 

Additionally, Audrey is a student mentor and an athlete, but most importantly, she is an academic award-winning student herself. She takes pride in doing not a good job, but a great job at everything she does.  Simply put, Audrey represents all the best things you look for in a student worker and it was my great pleasure to nominate her for this honor.”

Congratulations Audrey!!!

Not rusty: GRCC golf team wins first conference tournament, Matt Denhartigh tops field after long layoff

Men's golf team.

The Grand Rapids Community College golf team returned to action after more than a month away, winning the Glen Oaks Community College Invitational Tournament on Friday.

The baseball team recovered from a 3-2 loss in the first game of a doubleheader against Kellogg Community College to win 9-6 in the nightcap.

In its first MCCAA conference match of the season, the golf team defeated the field of six opponents with a score of 302, 14 strokes better than second-place Muskegon Community College.

Sophomore Matt Denhartigh earned medalist honors with a career-best four-under par performance. Arie Jackman, 75 and Connor Oman, 77 also earned All-Tournament Team honors.

Sam Foss finished with an 82 and Brad Vandenhout an 84 on the cold and windy course down in Centreville, Mich.

The baseball team managed a split against first place Kellogg Community College.

GRCC ace Jared Berkenpas pitched a complete game and gave up two earned runs in the 3-2 loss. Dylan Chargo led GRCC, with two hits in three at-bats with an RBI double.

In the nightcap, GRCC trailed 6-2, but scored seven unanswered runs in the fifth and sixth innings to win 9-6.

GRCC out-hit Kellogg 15-10, led by Chargo and Zacarias Salinas who each had three hits. GRCC had three extra base hits; one by Salinas and the others by Andres Rivera-Calderon and Ryan Dykstra.

With the score tied at six, Camden Keatley scored the go-ahead run on a line drive to center field in the fifth inning.

Drew Murphy, Caden VanDeBurg and Eliott Traver pitched for GRCC, with VanDeBurg picking up the victory.

The Raiders, now 14-18 on the season, will travel to Battle Creek on April 16 to complete the four-game series. 

GRCC baseball at LMCU Ballpark: What you need to know

Grand Rapids Community College- Baseball vs. Kellogg C.C. 04/16/2021. © Photography by Steve Jessmore, Steve Jessmore Photography

The Grand Rapids Community College baseball team is facing Calvin University at a special game on Tuesday, April 19 at LMCU Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps.

The teams are playing a doubleheader, with the first game starting at 2 p.m.

Here’s what you need to know:

The home team:

GRCC is 14-20 on the season, but that’s a little misleading. The team started the season on a tough, 11-game road trip down south facing four-year schools and other top competition, losing the first 10 games. GRCC is 8-8 in conference play.

Players to watch:

Byron Center native Ryan Dykstra is powering the GRCC offense, leading the team in batting average with .371, hits with 39, doubles with nine, and home runs with four. Jerad Berkenpas, also from Byron Center, has been the ace, leading team with four wins, a 2.45 earned run average, and 46 strikeouts in 40.1 innings. Caleb Engelsman, of Rockford, recently had a game for the ages, hitting a two-out, bases-loaded triple to give GRCC a walk-off win against rival Muskegon Community College – and even pitched a complete-game victory.

The coach:

The Raiders are led by Mike Eddington, who played two seasons at Grand Rapids Junior College for legendary Coach Tom Hofmann. He was part of the team that placed sixth in the Junior College World Series and was an honorable mention All-American. Eddington transferred to Michigan State University, where he broke the Spartan home run record, previously held by former Detroit Tigers star Kirk Gibson — a record that still stands today.

The opponent:

Calvin University is 12-12 this season, coming off a doubleheader split against Kalamazoo College on Saturday. Catcher Rick Padilla is leading the team offensively with a .372 batting average, eight doubles and three homers. Pitcher Calvin Miller has three wins, a save and a 2.19 earned run average. Kevin Van Duyn is in his fourth year as Calvin’s head coach. A two-time Division III All-American second baseman at Calvin, Van Duyn has a record of 42-38 and a second place MIAA finish in 2021.


The GRCC Athletic Department is celebrating the 26th anniversary of the 1996 team and the 25th anniversary of the 1997 team, both winning the NJCAA baseball national championship. The teams included two players – Brad Block and Joe Trigg – who were named All-Americans. A number of players from those teams are planning to attend and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.


Admission is free for GRCC students and employees with their RaiderCard. General admission is $10, and $5 for Calvin students and employees with their ID card.


Parking at LMCU Ballpark will be free.

GRCC baseball history:

GRCC’s baseball team has a storied tradition, with five national championships, 19 regional championships and 30 conference championships. GRCC coach Hofmann led his team to nearly 700 wins, served as an assistant coach on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team and was inducted into the Community College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988 and into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

GRCC at LMCU Ballpark:

It’s the second year that GRCC has played at LMCU Ballpark. Last year’s doubleheader against Kellogg Community College, was the first game at the stadium since the start of the pandemic, and the first with the park’s new name.

Student Employee Appreciation Week celebration

GRCC was proud to highlight the important work of our student employees during Student Employee Appreciation Week, April 11-14, with a lunch and event each day.

The goal of each event was to show just how much we appreciate everything our wonderful Student Employees do for GRCC throughout the year. Turnout was great for the week.

Events included lunches from Subway, the Raider Grill, a meal prepared by Chef Sasha Ahmed’s Garde Manger, Meat Fabrication, and Banquets class, and a Ford Field House concession stand.

“I really appreciate it,” student worker Shantasia King said about the week. “It is nice to be appreciated in action, not just in words.”

Student employee Naomi Blanco said, “It was really sweet. It was also really cool to chat with my boss away from work.”

GRCC In the News 04/18/2022

Spectrum, MSU find COVID-19 patients fall into two groups

4/15/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

A new study could lead to greater understanding of COVID-19 treatment after underscoring the importance of precision medicine and personalized care.

… The team for this study consisted of researchers from Spectrum Health, Michigan State University, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Ambry Genetics, Grand Rapids Community College, Calvin University, Grand Valley State University, Davenport University and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

VERIFY: Do Michigan barbers get more training than police?

4/15/22 WZZM

MUSKEGON, Mich. — With the increased focus on the training police officers receive in the wake of the officer-involved shooting death of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids, a claim regarding just how long it takes to join the force has gone viral…

… The Academy at Grand Rapids Community College, for example, divides that into 40 credit hours over two semesters, addressing topics including firearms, criminal law and various procedures.

Change-Ups: Nucci hired as Erhardt project manager

4/15/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

… The Right Place Inc. appointed the following officers to its board of directors: chair: Christina Freese Decker, Spectrum Health; vice chair: Bill Pink, Grand Rapids Community College; and treasurer: Steve Downing, Gentex Corp. Board of directors: Sara Armbruster, Steelcase Inc.; Matt Biersack, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s; Michael Davenport, Jireh Metal Products Inc.; James E. Dillard III, Perrigo Co.; Katie Ferris, BDO USA LLP; Joi Harris, DTE Energy; Nick Hrnyak, Lacks Enterprises Inc.; Joshua Hulst, Michigan Software Labs; Charles W. Lott, Wells Fargo & Co.; Milind Pant, Amway Corp.; Al Vanderberg, Kent County; and Mark J. Wassink, Warner Norcross + Judd, LLP.

Morning News

4/17/22 FOX 17

(Open houses.)

Jayhawk golfer’s finish runner-up at Glen Oaks Invitational

4/18/22 Local Sports Journal (Muskegon)

CENTREVILLEThe Muskegon Community College men’s golf team settled for second place on Saturday at the Glen Oaks Invitational held Clen Oaks Community College in Centreville.

The Jayhawk’s had a team total score of 316, while Grand Rapids Community College took top honors with a low score of 302

Road Closure Notice – Lyon St NE and Ransom Ave NE starting today


STREET NAMELyon St NE and Ransom Ave NE
WHERELyon St: Claremont Pl to Ransom Ave. Ransom Ave: Lyon St and Crescent St.
DESCRIPTION OF WORKLong-term project to redevelop Spectrum parking ramp on north side of Lyon between Barclay and Ransom.
CLOSURE TYPEIn Phase 1, close the northern Lyon curb lane and maintain southern lane. Close and detour northbound Ransom along site, southbound will remain open.
DETOUR ROUTENorthbound Ransom: Lyon to Bostick to Crescent
STARTMonday, April 18, 2022 – 7:00 AM
ENDMonday, August 8, 2022 – 4:00 PM

Van & Marinus Swets Travel Award entries due by April 28

This opportunity is for GRCC employees (Non student employees)

DEADLINE: Thursday, April 28, 2022

This travel award is for fun, enjoyment, and relaxation.  It is not intended to supplement any faculty, staff or administrator’s professional development travel funds. 

A cash award of up to $400 will be given to any full or part-time GRCC employee who completes the following requirements and has his or her essay judged the best to fulfill the employee’s intention to relax, enjoy and have fun.


  • Submit an essay (500 words or less) using this google form telling how you intend to use the cash award for fun, enjoyment, relaxation. The more unusual, the better!
  • Essays will not be judged on spelling, writing style, organization, usage or grammar. They will be judged on CREATIVITY.
  • Steps for submitting in your application for the Van Marinus Swets Travel Award
  1. To access the application, here. 
  2. Do not put your name on the essay.
  3. Use your GRCC employee ID number when submitting your essay on the google form.
  4. Submit your application by 5:00pm on Thursday, April 28.

*All award winners will be notified by Friday, May 6

For more information you may contact Mary Reed at (616)234-3930 or

Wellness Champions: Sock collection centers across campus until April 22

Wellness Committee April Initiative: 

Earth Day is April 22–Let’s focus on the Environmental Dimension of Wellness! 

Socks are the most thrown-away piece of apparel.

GRCC can help with that! The Wellness Champions are teaming up with Smartwool’s Second Cut Project to create a more circular economy and give every sock a second chance at life.

Smartwool has partnered with Material Return circularity platform to deconstruct socks and upcycle them into new products, like dog beds.

The Wellness Champions have identified 9 locations around campus for sock drop-off and those are listed below! This initiative will go from April 8-April 22 and we hope you can participate! 

Drop-Off Site Locations Are:

  • RJF 305
  • Student Financial Services – 1st floor RJF
  • Admin Building – 2nd Floor
  • Math Dept – 2nd Floor CPP
  • GRCC Police – Main Office
  • Calkins – Science Computer Lab, Room 104
  • ATC – Tutorial and Open Computer Lab, Room 215
  • Lakeshore Campus – Main Office Room 101
  • Fieldhouse – 2nd floor office 211