City leaders consider daycare at Rapid Central Station

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — City leaders are considering filling empty space at Rapid Central Station with a daycare center.

The topic has been brought up multiple times at recent Board of Directors meetings for The Rapid.

Board member Jack Hoffman stressed to News 8 that nothing has been decided yet, but he and others are in favor.

“I think everybody’s behind it,” Hoffman said. “I think we wanna make it work.”

The Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek is part of the push, according to recorded minutes of recent board meetings. The foundation has asked to do a “feasibility study” on potentially making this a reality.

“There seems to be a lot of support,” Hoffman said. “Now whether that really can work in that space, I’m not an expert.”

“If we can find a partner that makes it work, and it’s something the community wants, and I think the community does want it, and that space does really work, I think we’re in a position to make it happen,” he added.

The building has vacant space on the third floor, according to meeting records.

“We have usable space that’s not being used,” Hoffman said. “Let’s use it.”

The idea appears to be moving forward.

Tracie Coffman, a board member for The Rapid, is also a program officer at the Kellogg Foundation. Coffman said during a recent meeting the foundation is “very excited and appreciative” of The Rapid for “allowing them to study the potential for a daycare facility at Rapid Central Station.”

The idea fits with the building’s original purpose, Hoffman said.

“It was never the plan that it should all be administrative space,” Hoffman said. “It was always a plan for mixed use. Let’s make it mixed use.”

Hoffman said it’s unclear when a decision will be made, emphasizing that it’s still early in the process. But because the space is already vacant, if the idea is approved, he could “see the pieces falling together very quickly.”

“You can tell I’m enthusiastic,” Hoffman said with a smile.

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