West Michigan News
May 15, 2008
Any camper who’s ever used the public shower at a state campground knows how unwelcoming and spooky the building can feel. Grand Rapids-based Integrated Architecture recently developed a ‘green’ prototype for a new style of shower building that is camper-friendly, safe, and has private shower rooms.
Category: Community, Design, Innovation, Sustainability, WestMichigan
May 01, 2008
For the renovation of its newest commercial property, the two-story office building 1331 Lake Drive SE in Eastown, Second Story Properties will conduct a uniquely public experiment in what it takes to develop a green building.
“My company has always prided itself on social responsibility,” says Second Story President Sam Cummings. “A lot of what we’ve done historically has been green in practice but not officially LEED. We’d like to get to the point of doing LEED on all our buildings. But first we have to prove that a green building can work in a commercial application. We just don’t know if the marketplace will accept the additional expense of a LEED-certified restoration.”
Category: Community, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan
April 26, 2008
The US Green Building Council’s NaturalTalent Design Competition was daunting: re-design an existing 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility into a LEED-qualified space and do it in 10 weeks. The winner, Ryan Garone of Design Plus, wasn’t deterred. He out-designed a total of 71 competitors that included 17 teams of architectural design students from 7 different colleges as well as one designer from another firm.
Category: AlternativeEnergy, Community, Education, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan
March 20, 2008
The bebop music rises and a woman takes center stage. She sparkles with glitter, her lips ruby red. She reveals her character while playfully removing her costume. The music ends. She flashes her pasties and skips off stage. Before her there was a magic act by Velvet Dan. After, a comedy skit about politics. That’s the magic of burlesque.
Four Friends - Corey Ruffin, Rachel Finan, Rich Haralson, and Josh Dunigan – established the Super Happy Funtime Burlesque in 2006 to launch a revival of the theatrical entertainment style in Grand Rapids. Yes, churchy, small town Grand Rapids is home to one of the only regular burlesque and vaudeville shows in Michigan.
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Entertainment, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan
February 14, 2008
How do college and university campuses know if they're accomplishing the sustainability and environmental quality goals they've set? That's what a new pilot program — Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) — aims to find out.
STARS is a pilot program developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Category: AlternativeEnergy, Education, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, WestMichigan
January 24, 2008
Cities, like people, make first impressions, long-lasting impressions on our visitors and others who are in the process of determining where they will live, establish businesses, and raise their families. That can be a good or a bad thing, but for Grand Rapids it’s very positive.
We’ve been making a great first impression because of our friendly and talented people, our strong values of hope, family and faith, and our commitment to sustainable growth and renewal. We are making national news for our forward-thinking investments and we are seen by others as a model city for our public-private partnerships and our green approach to the future.
Category: Community, Culture, Diversity, Education, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Healthcare, Innovation, Lakeshore, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan
December 13, 2007
The Grand Rapids Public School system now faces a massive job of upgrading its facilities to establish state-of-the-art learning environments for the 21st century.
The task is not that different from what private industry has had to do in the past 30 years. Not long ago, the near downtown area of Grand Rapids had many older factories which ultimately were replaced by modern manufacturing facilities. And numerous old buildings have either been replaced by new construction or converted to other uses such as loft housing, retail and offices.
Category: Community, Education, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan
November 01, 2007
Nine mobile murals symbolizing the past, present, and future of Grand Rapids' Southtown neighborhood were unveiled Tuesday, October 30 at a press conference followed by a walking tour of the new art installments. Lighthouse Communities commissioned the murals through the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts to get young people involved in the revitalization of the neighborhood.
"We've been working to re-brand the neighborhood as Southtown," says Dave Allen, executive director of Lighthouse Communities. "With the renewed energy and development we thought what a cool opportunity to bring some kids in."
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Education, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan
October 25, 2007
The $6 million renovation of the former DA Blodgett Home for Children involved the most significant terra cotta restoration project in the history of the state, according to experts at the Michigan Historic Preservation Office.
Much of the restoration of the circa 1908 Italianate orphanage and gardens at 920 Cherry SE centered around the restoration of four 36-foot terra cotta columns and 1,260 smaller terra cotta pieces and balusters.
Category: Community, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, WestMichigan
October 25, 2007
Six mosaic sculptures created by the ArtWorks Summer Program of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) commemorate the heritage of Grandville Avenue and the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood (RPNA).
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Design, Education, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan