GRBJ: MSU's research center to create rain garden for city corner

Dan Harland tells us about Michigan State University's new rain water garden and how it will keep foot traffic cool near the corner of Michigan and Monroe.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Once the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center is complete, the corner of Michigan Street and Monroe Avenue should be much cooler — according to a thermometer.

The site’s “unconventional” landscape architecture will help make the corner feel up to 20 degrees cooler on hot summer days and prevent dirty runoff water making its way back to the Grand River, according to Keenan Gibbons, a designer at Ann Arbor-based SmithGroupJJR, the firm responsible for the design.


Site development is underway and will wrap up in the spring; the exterior of the building was finished in July, according to the most recent MSU Construction Junction report.

Instead of a conventional storm drain and sidewalk that directs water back to the Grand River and generates heat, Gibbons said the MSU GRRC will have a rain water basin that collects water and filters it into the ground through vegetation.

To read the complete story, click here, or pick up this week's edition of the Grand Rapids Business Journal.


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