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grnd

St. Andrew's/Cathedral Square

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I know there was a discussion about the general renovations to Cathedral Square a while back. I am starting a new topic given recent news. My apologies if this retread is inappropriate.

As many of you likely know by now, St. Andrew's School, which is located on Cathedral Square, will be closing in June. Regardless of whether the school should have been permitted to close -- a topic best left for another forum -- there will now be a very large, very visible, very vacant building sitting directly across from the Cathedral of St. Andrew's. This empty building will stand in sharp contrast to the beautified, newly-renovated buildings that occupy the south end of Cathedral Square.

Assume, because it is true, that leadership in the Grand Rapids diocese wants to create a highly-visible, highly beautiful campus in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. With that goal in mind, as well as the general goal of what would be best for Grand Rapids' downtown from a planning perspective, what does this forum of thoughtful thinkers and armchair urban planners believe would be the best use of the space now occupied by St. Andrew's? With closure comes opportunity, and I would be interested in your thoughts on whether there is some lemonade to be made here.

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The Perry was a building worth saving - St. Andrew's School is not. I don't know what the classroom needs are for Catholic Central or what the diocese can afford but a new building on that site would get my vote. Does Catholic Central have a swimming pool on campus? How about a performing arts center? The GR Diocese has done an amazing job so far in the transformation of that area, this would be another step in the direction of eventually tying Catholic Central/Cathedral Square to the St.Mary's complex.

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I remember Catholic Central had classes in St. Andrew's basement even after the math building was added on to. I don't know CC's current enrollment numbers and I assume they're declining, but St. Andrew's is small and could be half-way renovated for use by CC. Heck, maybe even West and CC could consolidate but then what would Coach T do for pep rallies?

As for saving; it totally should be. It's not architecturally significant but it does blend well with the CC/diocese's campus.

CC does not have a pool on site (except the one on the roof...yes, I still remember that old joke) or a full performing arts center. There is a band room (kinda cramped) in the gym building.

I don't believe there's enough money there for a brand new building to replace St. Andrew's unless something drastic happens (i.e. Peter Wege finds another $4 million or West Catholic and Catholic Central consolidate and West's property is sold off). Granted, I know nothing of the diocese's financial situation other than heresy.

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A few years ago, I seem to remember that there was a long term plan to build a sparkling new replacement LEED certified school for St. Andrews adjacent to this building and then tearing this building down.

While building a replacement building is clearly not in the cards, tearing this building down most likely is. So I suspect that many things could be done to this building to keep it as a part of the fabric....but I highly doubt that anything will.

My guess is surface parking. Or maybe if we really dream big, a plaza.

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From what I remember from a few years ago, Catholic Central swam at the YMCA and they have a field house and facilities on the corner of Knapp and Leffingwell.

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The Athletics facility includes about everything except a pool and hockey rink unless they have built them since the fieldhouse opened about 2 years ago which was the last time i toured the place. though I have heard from people in the department, that they want there own Hockey rink.

Regarding St. Andrews, does CC needs more classrooms, does the Diocese need more office space. I'd say open up a Catholic only apartment building, but i'm sure it would violate some laws.

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I'd say open up a Catholic only apartment building, but i'm sure it would violate some laws.

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"My guess is surface parking. Or maybe if we really dream big, a plaza" btw, how do you highlight what other people have written?

Yea, that area needs some more surface parking!!! lol I was walking through there with my dog today to look at the old Perry building...oh I mean the hole in the ground, and man o man does that whole area just feel empty as a pedestrian. It isn't that bad when you're in a car driving through past the hospital but when you walk through on foot it seems really desolate and kind of depressing.

BTW, what is going on with that whole area where the Perry used to be? I know there's a forum on that somewhere here, i'll have to find it.

No real good ideas from me about that whole CC/St. Andrews situation but it would be nice to have something there other than more open land.

What about a community college extension? performing arts center for the school? fieldhouse type thing? wheres the nearest hockey rink anyways aside from VA? a giant statue of me? Family Dollar? pumpkin patch? yea, surface parking

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"My guess is surface parking."

The Bishop has said that the school "blocks his view" of the Cathedral. I can't imagine that the school will be standing in a year. Too bad to see 130 years of education in the heart of Downtown paved over because of ego.

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The Bishop has said that the school "blocks his view" of the Cathedral. I can't imagine that the school will be standing in a year. Too bad to see 130 years of education in the heart of Downtown paved over because of ego.

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