GRCC aims to add landmark with $5M piazza project

Grand Rapids

A rendering courtesy of Grand Rapids Community College and Progressive AE shows GRCC’s new Secchia Piazza, which will be located at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain Street NE in Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Community College says a new piazza coming to its downtown campus is poised to become one of the college’s most recognizable features.

Construction started last week on the new Secchia Piazza, which will transform an outdoor patio GRCC says was underused.

(A rendering courtesy of Grand Rapids Community College and Progressive AE shows the skylight inside GRCC’s new Secchia Piazza, which will be located at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain Street NE in Grand Rapids.)

Granger Construction is overseeing the nearly $5 million project, which will enclose the patio at GRCC’s Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center with a colorful skylight that’s 31 feet across and 15 feet high. The updated space designed by Progressive AE will also feature flooring created by GRCC artists to evoke the journey students take from the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education to careers worldwide.

Secchia Piazza will be used as an event and meeting space. GRCC says it will allow the culinary program to serve more guests while raising awareness of students’ accomplishments.

The renovated space near the corner of Fountain Street and Ransom Avenue NE is expected to be complete in June 2022.

(A rendering courtesy of Grand Rapids Community College and Progressive AE shows the skylight inside GRCC’s new Secchia Piazza, which will be located at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain Street NE in Grand Rapids.)

The new piazza is being paid for entirely by the late Peter Secchia and his family, who also supported the creation of the Secchia Institute’s facilities. GRCC’s culinary program was renamed after Secchia and his wife Joan 14 years ago.

“The Secchia Institute for Culinary Education has long been recognized as one of Grand Rapids’ best teaching and dining experiences, and Peter Secchia always believed our students are capable of great things,” Dr. Kathryn K. Mullins, vice president for College Advancement and executive director of the GRCC Foundation, stated in a news release.

Secchia died one year ago this month. A family spokesperson said Secchia had been dealing with health problems for several months when he contracted COVID-19.

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