ABOUT US // OUR LOCATIONS
West Michigan Capital Campaign
A New Home for Healing
in West Michigan
After eight years in our current West Michigan space, we’re excited to announce we’re moving the healing power of play to a new facility in Grand Rapids.
When we opened the doors to our physical space in 2015, we knew our current location likely wouldn’t be our last. As we have grown and logistical challenges have presented themselves, it is now essential for us to create an additional space that better allows us to provide the health outcomes we strive for.
A Million Minutes More
The families and kids who visit our Center have already found more than one million minutes of play in our squeaky-clean space – and we’re ready to provide a million more. Through strategic planning and design visioning processes, we determined a new space is the only way for us to meet the growing demands for our programs and continue providing the best service to our members.
As a “YES” zone, we strive to always find ways to let kids just be kids. Though we have been good stewards of our current building, making use of every space and resource we have, its size has limited us in the number of yeses we can say. We’re committed to breaking down the barriers of isolation by breaking ground on a new and larger space with more room for everything— especially yeses. A larger facility will allow us to tailor areas to better meet the needs of our members, while improving efficiency and flow.
Finding Fun in New Spaces
After an intentional search for an ideal location, and with financial support from the state of Michigan, we purchased a building from Calvin University in the Spring of 2022. Our new home is located on the East Beltline – nestled alongside Calvin’s nature preserve at the North end of campus.
The building requires renovation to become the high-quality and hospital grade facility our members have come to rely on. Work is expected to get underway this fall, with a grand opening for our members planned for Q4 of 2024.
A Campaign for Good. Clean. Fun.
After an extensive quiet capital campaign, we are now entering the public phase with additional support opportunities available, including leadership gifts and general community support.
Breakdown of Cost
The project will take approximately 12 months to complete before the doors officially open.
The new building will replace our current Fulton Street location.
Our current location is leased through Saint Thomas Parish, and the property’s layout does not allow for expansion.
Additionally, it would be impossible to renovate our current space while maintaining our current standards for sanitization and cleanliness, meaning the Center would need to close completely for several months. It is important for us to maintain consistent, quality service to our members throughout this transition.
This project is part of our strategic vision for the Center and our members. Expansion will allow us to serve more qualifying families, gather more data on health outcomes and provide better services for our rapidly growing community.
We understand a larger space will increase our operating costs and anticipate an annual increase of about 10%. This new building will also increase our overall operational and building efficiency by providing additional space to run more programs concurrently and updated features such a new roof, new windows and state-of-the-art mechanical systems.
There are several reasons we felt the Beltline location would be a good fit for the Center’s next home. Our new location is easily accessible from many major Grand Rapids-area roads and expressways, has a size that will better suit the Center’s needs and has ample parking for members, volunteers, staff and visitors.
Its proximity to Calvin University also provides exciting opportunities to deepen our relationship with volunteers and interns and create fun experiences for our members at the nearby Nature Preserve.
Our new space will address some of our most critical needs to better serve our members, including:
- More spaces for programs so we can limit waitlists and allow more members to take part in more programs
- Greater accessibility for wheelchairs, strollers and our young members
- Designated spaces for our teen and young adult members
- A large gym space to allow us to better facilitate sports programs and reduce risk of injury.
- A parent space that is separated from general program areas to allow time for connection and respite.
- Adequate onsite parking
- Additional office and storage spaces
Our building is leased from Saint Thomas Parish, who will determine next steps for the space.
Currently, the center serves more than 800 members – and based on estimates from local health care partners, we know there are many more people in our area who qualify for our services.
We are currently conducting a study in partnership with Priority Health and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to measure the long-term health outcomes that result from Center participation.
In addition to supporting the study, the state gave Center a one-time grant in 2021 towards a capital project in West Michigan. These are the funds that were used to purchase the new building.