GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — More changes are coming soon to the Boston Square neighborhood in Grand Rapids, including a brand-new community hub that will bring additional resources to the neighborhood.
The Kent County Board of Commissioners recently awarded the project $4 million in federal COVID relief funds.
It will create a central location for the Boston Square neighborhood to gather and grow, all while providing essential services like early childhood education.
Located on the southeast side of Grand Rapids on Kalamazoo Avenue is the former Revolution Church building. It’s the future site of the Boston Square Community Hub.
“This project is very unique because it's really collaborative," said Dr. Nkechy Ekere Ezeh, founder & CEO of Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative.
The Boston Square Association, Amplify GR, and other community partners have come together to make this project a reality.
One of the most vital pieces of the space will be a new early childhood education program.
“We have other centers in the community, but we need more, and this will create additional access for our children," Dr. Ezeh said.
Community input indicated education and programming were the number one priority for the area.
“Activities that happened with children between the ages of birth to five is really what propels them forward. So early childhood education is so critical," Dr. Ezeh said.
Construction on the hub is set to begin in 2023.
“We’re trying to create a pipeline to have the children come for early learning, and then be able to go to kindergarten ready on day one.”
Once complete, the Early Learning Center will have 88 children between the ages of infancy to 5 years old to start.
“The children from this Boston Square neighborhood will have some kind of opportunity to be the ones to get in first before we open it up to the whole world.”
Their message to the community: We see you, we hear you, and you are the future.
The hub will also include flexible works spaces, a coffee bar, a health and wellness center and more. The goal is to get the community center completed and open by 2024.
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