Grand Rapids Township Complex Plans
1929 - 2001
Annual Township Board meeting, taxpayers voted 40 yes 1 no to
build a Township Hall. The Board was to procure a site and build a town hall not-to-exceed $6,000.
Township Board purchased 4 acres for $1,250.
Special Board meeting was called by Supervisor B.F. Hilton to discuss plans for building the Town Hall. Board members present were Supervisor Hilton, Justices Ed Kelly and Warren Townsend and Clerk E.D. Hulliberger.
Mr. Hilton reported brick runs $22 to $26 per thousand. Mr. Glen Hunsberger gave information as to prices and plans.
Motion by Townsend and supported by Kelly that the Supervisor be instructed to secure plans and specifications on a building approximately 24’ x 60’ with a vault of 8’ x 8’ and a kitchen 8’ x 16’ with a brick exterior and roof of composition shingles.
Board accepted plans and specifications prepared by Mr. Harvey Weemhoff.
Advertised in the Grand Rapids Press and Herald for bids to be received by August 20th , 8:00 p.m.
Board decided to use Bell Tex Red Mingled Brick at $22.50 per thousand and cream colored lime manufactured by Mother Lime and Stone Company.
Board members went to Cutlerville to examine brick building same as one under construction.
Eleven bids were received on the building, $4,850 to $7,425.65. Low bidder was Gerrit Folkringa for $4,850. Fred Works was employed to survey sight for Town Hall.
Hilton, Kelly and Hulliberger located the building 80’ from east right-of-way and center of the site.
Supervisor was instructed to have outhouses built for Township Hall. Supervisor was also directed to purchase 4 dozen folding chairs, and a suitable size Hetrola and all accessories including a table of suitable size and lights.
Special Board meeting to accept the building.
A 30 foot flag pole was erected.
Township purchased 3 acres behind 1814 East Beltline for ball field at a cost of $750.
Township Board authorized Supervisor Dickinson to submit plans to Board for central offices for the Township
Board approved preliminary plans for office addition.
Board awarded bid of $8,650 for Township addition to Square Deal Realty Company.
Township Office opened with an office manager.
Board approved subcontracts to remodel Township offices and build an addition. This is the first that the Township Hall had inside restrooms.
Township Board consisting of Supervisor Marshall Douthett, Clerk Marsha Bouwkamp, Treasurer Dorothy Hall and Trustees William Colvin, John Otte, James Robinette and Lee VanPopering passed a resolution putting $200,000 in a fund for a new building.
The Michigan Department of Transportation stated they would not be taking the Township Hall when they rebuilt the East Beltline, but would curve the road around the Township Hall. The Township Board hired Traffic Consultant Ed Swanson and with his help and the support of Congressman Paul Henry, Senator Vern Ehlers and Representative Walter DeLange, the proposed highway was re-aligned to be straight.
State Highway Department sent a letter to the Township that they agreed to pay the Township fair market value for existing offices and Town Hall when East Beltline was rebuilt.
The Township Board consisting of Supervisor Marsha Bouwkamp, Clerk Janice Hulbert, Treasurer Dorothy Hall and Trustees William Colvin, John Otte, James Robinette and Lee VanPopering approved the purchase of the eleven (11) acres of property with a rental house for $77,000. This property is immediately north of the Township Hall and the house was rented for $450 per month until the sale to the Department of Transportation. Purchased from Beverly and Glen Haglund.
The Township Board consisting of Supervisor Marsha Bouwkamp, Clerk Janice Hulbert, Treasurer Lee Grey and Trustees William Colvin, John Otte, James Robinette and Lee VanPopering appointed a Building Committee for the proposed Township Complex. The Chairman was Jack VanDyke with members Edward Prein, Susan Molhoek, William Buchanan and Calvin Kappes.
Building Committee reported to Township Board and was requested to interview Architects.
Township Board approved buying 40 acres immediately east of the Township property on the East Beltline for $95,000. The property will be used for a proposed park and has 660 feet of frontage on Knapp Street. The property extends from Knapp Street, half-way to Leonard Street. Purchase from LaGrave Christian Reformed Church.
Jack VanDyke reported on behalf of the Building Committee that they had reviewed architects and were recommending Stan Jager and Gerrit Huitsing, The Architectual Group. The Township Board approved the recommendation.
Proposed plans were presented to the Township Board by The Architectual Group and Building Committee Chairman Jack VanDyke. Plans were approved and the architect was instructed to proceed.
Township Board consisting of Supervisor Marsha Bouwkamp, Clerk Janice Hulbert, Treasurer Lee Grey and Trustees William Colvin, Jenny Lynn, Richard Miller and James Robinette approved finalized plans and authorized the architect to go out for bids.
Township Board approved recommendation of Building Committee to award contract to build new building to Dykhouse Construction in the amount of $1,076,530.
Township Board appointed an Interior Suggestion Committee to assist with the interior furnishings for the new building. The Committee was Board MembersLee Grey, Janice Hulbert, Richard Miller and Township residents Elaine VanPutten and James Larko.
Township Board approved Interior Suggestion Committee to work with American Seating and others to furnish the building within the budget.
Township offices are moved to the new complex.
Township Board appointed a Recreation Planning Committee consisting of Township residents Greg Kuklewski, Roger Sabine, Mike VanderPloeg and Mark Wrona.
Township was awarded a DNR Grant of $35,000 toward the construction of a shelter building with barrier free restrooms.
Mark Wrona, Landscape Architect, volunteered his time and designed a landscape plan for the Township Complex. Bids were taken and the low bidder was Katerberg VerHage with a bid of $30,990. Katerberg VerHage was awarded the contract.
Township Complex was dedicated to the People of Grand Rapids Charter Township. An Open House was held on May 11, 12 and 13, 1990.
Knapp School was scheduled to be demolished because the East Beltline was being widened. The Township was permitted to move the school to the Township complex. That move was done by Pitsch Wrecking. Community Development funds paid for moving and outside restoration.
Township Board approved construction of a shelter building.
Shelter building and restrooms were completed. Total cost was $70,000 with the DNR grant paying $35,000.
Work started on Phase II of the park.
Adrian VanderStoep donated the bell tower for Knapp School and had the original bell placed in the bell tower.
Visser Brothers were awarded contract for the park. Total project to cost $240,000 with DNR paying $180,000.
Playground area and tennis courts were open for use.
Ball fields were completed and ready for play, volley ball court was completed and trees were being planted.
Bultsema Construction built a ramp and deck to Knapp School for handicapped accessibility. Community Development Funds were used.
Township Community Day. Park and Knapp School were officially dedicated to the People of Grand Rapids Charter Township.
Township Board approved an option to buy land and house at Knapp for future park expansion.
Township Board approved a lease agreement for the south portion of the optioned property to use for parking while soccer fields were in that portion of the park.
Park renovation. Paths, ball fields, etc.
Contributor: Janice Hulbert, G.R. Township Clerk
Created: 25 February 2002