MAY 12, 2021

Thornapple Kellogg Schools Breaks Ground on New Learning Center, Part of $42.8 Million Bond Program

Thornapple Kellogg Schools Breaks Ground on New Learning Center, Part of $42.8 Million Bond Program

With hardhats and shovels, Thornapple Kellogg preschool students, and one soon-to-be student, tossed the first dirt at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the district’s new learning center. The new building is part of the district’s $42.8 million bond program passed by voters in 2019.

“I want to thank the community for their support of Thornapple Kellogg Schools. This is a wonderful project for our youngest students and a beautiful site. This is a great day," said TK Superintendent Dan Remenap.

Board of education members, administrators, bond committee members and community leaders joined in the celebration Wednesday afternoon. The new 32,500 square-foot facility will house the three and four-year-old preschool programs, Great Start Readiness Preschool, Early Childhood Special Education and child care. The current Learning Center is located next to McFall Elementary.

TK Board of Education President Kristen Cove also offered her thanks to the community. “On behalf of the TK Board of Education, I would like to thank the community for supporting TK Schools and our youngest Trojans. We are incredibly excited for our students to play, learn and grow in the new learning center.

Cade Dammen, a TK alumnus and Director of Field Operations at O‑A‑K said this project hits close to home for him as he stood by his young son, Paxton who had joined the preschoolers in shoveling the first dirt. “My mom was a teacher in this district. I went to school at TK and my son, Paxton will be the first class to go to school in this building. My daughter Paisley will also be a student in the building in a few years” he said. “I’m a proud community member, alumni, and father and I’m very proud to be here today.”

Construction crews have already been busy clearing the site and moving a lot of dirt. The site for the new building is located on the east side of Bender Road, south of the high school and across from the bus garage drive.

The new TK Learning Center will feature:

  • 21st Century design
  • 10 age-appropriate classrooms
  • A sensory room
  • A new board room
  • Expansive kitchen and cafeteria space, with a multi-purpose space for gross motor activities
  • Office space and workstations

The project is scheduled to be completed Fall 2022.

The $42.8 million bond program focuses on growth, aging infrastructure, and enhanced learning. It is being managed by Owen‑Ames‑Kimball Co., and designed by GMB Architects + Engineers.

Other bond projects include:

  • Additional classrooms at each of the three elementary buildings which will be completed for use by fall 2021
  • Upgrading roofs, emergency generator, doors, windows, flooring, paving, and enhanced parking lot designs.
  • New art and music rooms at McFall, air conditioning for all areas of student learning, pool and pool locker room upgrades, new tennis courts and stadium turf replacement

“My mom was a teacher in this district. I went to school at TK and my son, Paxton will be the first class to go to school in this building. My daughter Paisley will also be a student in the building in a few years” he said. “I’m a proud community member, alumni, and father and I’m very proud to be here today.”

Cade Dammen
Director of Field Operations at O‑A‑K & TK alumnus

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