The Grand Rapids Public Museum looks to expand

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Public Museum could look different in a few years as staff confirm to News 8 that they are considering an expansion.

As the demand for the museum continues to grow, staff says they’re beginning to run out of space. They say while day to day visitors are no issue, they do have to work a bit harder to accommodate for when they have multiple groups visiting at the same time.

“We are at a capacity here at the museum,” Kocienski said. “There’s so much demand for the facility, so it’s something that we’re looking at for the future.”

The museum was founded in 1854. The building they are in now was built in 1994.

“The museum was selected as an opportunity site along the river as a part of the river restoration project that’s happening,” Kate Kocienski, a GRPM spokesperson, said.

The river restoration project is called River For All. It focuses on ways to reimagine the riverfront with goals of enhanced access and adding recreational activities. It’s a part of an initiative to restore the rapids, which calls for the city to eventually do away with dams along the Grand River.

“Some of the ideas that have already been made public include things like terrace seating or an outdoor classroom — ways to connect with outside a little bit more,” Kocienski said.

She says while there are no concrete plans yet, they most likely would not build out toward the riverfront. She says they would like to keep that space active. 

The project is in the very beginning stages, so there are no details on when or how the museum might expand. There’s also no budget set at this point.

The museum staff say, they’re excited about the possibilities. 

“We are always looking at what’s next for the Grand Rapids Public Museum as we continue to serve the community,” Kocienski said.

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