GRPS new Museum School opens to students today

The new GRPS Museum School located inside the Grand Rapids Public Museum. (Sept. 8, 2015)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new Grand Rapids Public school is opening its doors inside the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

The Museum School will start classes for 60 sixth graders Tuesday morning.

It’s just the beginning for the Museum School as it will grow into a full sixth through eighth-grade middle school and eventually a high school.

“We’re really going to make the best use of all of the resources around us,” Museum School Principal Chris Hanks said. “The history of the museum, the artifacts and just the knowledge that’s here. It’s going to be a core part of this school.”

This school year the sixth graders will start in two temporary classrooms but that will change.

The plan is to renovate the museum’s fourth floor, creating sixth through eighth grade classrooms along with the school administrative office.

There are more changes on the way, leading GRPS to launch a private fundraising campaign, hoping to garner $25 million.

The district will also ask voters to approve a bond this fall for additional funds to go towards the museum renovations and changes to 54 Jefferson Avenue — the site of the old public museum. The former public museum will eventually serve as the high school building for the current sixth-graders starting museum school.

“We’re drawing the map as we walk it,” GRPS spokesperson John Helmholdt said. “But it’s really a great new adventure.”

Museum School students will be easily identified from museum visitors with their school uniforms.

In 2017 the school will add seventh grade, the following year eighth grade and after that 54 Jefferson will be open for the high schoolers.

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