Funds OK’d for Grand Rapids Public Museum’s riverfront redesign

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WOOD) – The Grand Rapids Public Museum’s riverfront redesign plan receives a financial boost.

On Wednesday, the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority approved up to $ 253,625 to shovel the $ 6 million project this year. The funds would support the final design work, construction documentation and project tendering.

The plan of the museum envisages a wave function on the north side of the museum and a campus that adapts to the appearance and atmosphere of the premises in the neighboring Ah-Nab-Awen Park and at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. The redesigned green space would include terraces for community meetings.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum plans to expand by $ 64 million

To the east, a series of ramps would allow visitors of all abilities direct access to the river and the museum’s carousel, which will remain available even when the museum closes. New trails along the river would connect Ah-Nab-Awen Park and Grand Valley State University.

According to Stephanie Ogren, Ph.D., a water biologist and vice president of science and education for the museum.

The project builds on the Years of effort to restore the rapids in the great river. Steve Heacock, President and CEO of Grand Rapids Whitewater, said the group plans to design the Grand River so that the water in the museum is calm and accessible. The redesigned riverside would allow children and visitors to reach the riverside and touch the water.

Carousel in the Grand Rapids Public Museum is getting a facelift

The river bank redesign is part of the larger one of the museum $ 64 million expansion planwhich also includes the addition of a café on the ground floor, a new group entrance and the redesign of the retail space.

“We’re just getting started here,” said Grand Rapids Public Museum President and CEO Dale Robertson.

Robertson said the expansion was necessary given growing demand. The number of museum visitors rose from 68,000 in 2008 to 259,000 in 2019, according to Robertson.

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