GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michael Ford says his family is proud to be associated with the recently renovated Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse at Grand Rapids Community College.
“I feel like it is not only a great asset for Grand Rapids and western Michigan, it is a home run for this community,” he said during a rededication ceremony Monday afternoon.
The renovated fieldhouse has new lights, locker rooms, training upgrades and more space for practice, instruction and competition.
“A whole new court and new lockers,” pointed out basketball player Sammie Ryns. “It is really nice.”
“We saw a digital version of what it was going to look like,” says basketball player Emily Pendred. “But now that we are in it, it is amazing. It is unreal.”
Grand Rapids natives Gerald and Betty Ford were here when the fieldhouse was first dedicated in 1976. Michael Ford said he could feel the presence of his parents in the building.
“I walked in and saw my father’s portrait on the wall and I knew he was here in spirit,” he says. “It is a special place.”
The renovation took a year and $8 million to complete. During construction GRCC teams could not schedule any home games.
“We are finally able to get back into the field house and into our home to play again,” says Pendred. “It just means a lot.”
“The facility is one of the most impressive and well-equipped field houses I have witnessed,” says Ford, who retired after over 35 years in administration at Wake Forest University. “Remarkable in terms of its functionality and educational value.”
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