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GRPM proposes $64 million expansion

The GRPM wants to expand its exhibit space, add a ground floor cafeteria and an outdoor courtyard that will include access to the Grand River.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Public Museum presented a proposal to the Grand Rapids City Commission this week that would raise $64 million for a museum expansion. The funding would be raised through private donors and public funds.

The GRPM wants to expand its exhibit space, add a ground floor cafeteria and an outdoor courtyard that will include access to the Grand River.

Credit: GRPM

Museum officials emphasized that additional space is needed to accommodate the increased number of GRPM visitors.

“When I took this job at the museum in 2008 we had 68,000 visitors that year,” said Dale Robertson, GRPM president and CEO. “In 2019, pre-COVID, 259,000 visitors. And we served 30,000 school student visits, but the reason it was 30,000 is we had to cap it because we just plain ran out of room to be able to accommodate schools. So we need to expand.”

The proposed project will likely be done in stages. If all goes according to plan, the expansion work could begin sometime in 2022, but most likely in 2023.

Credit: GRPM

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