GRCC Lakeshore campus exterior photo view 1

Case Study Grand Rapids Community College Lakeshore Campus

The Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Lakeshore Campus offers higher-education opportunities for learners of all ages to gain credits for academic degrees and in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers. The college offers traditional liberal arts and occupational pathways, as well as workforce training for local businesses and apprenticeships. The school transformed an empty mall space into an educational hub that provides students with access to classroom learning and hands-on experience to help them advance, while building a skilled workforce and bringing economic revitalization to the surrounding area.


Holland, Michigan

Project Specs

Higher Education
Budget: $12 million
Building Size: 52,000 sq. ft.
Repurposed retail space

Design Firm

GMB Architecture + Engineering

Dealer Partner

Interphase Interiors

Haworth Harbor lounge chair, Maari chairs in a casual space view 2


The GRCC Lakeshore Campus serves regional higher-education needs for academics, professional development, and workforce training that serves local businesses while allowing people to gain new skills or build on their expertise. The spaces and furniture are designed to adapt day-by-day and year-to-year. The ability to quickly and easily move seating and tables allows for infinite configurations as programs and class sizes change. Additionally, furniture with casters allows for quick changes when social distancing is required. In the atrium, a variety of spaces for different activities help students focus with privacy or be visible in open areas to help them feel like they belong and are connected. 

Haworth Maari hi stools in a collaborative space view 2

Collaborative Culture

The new GRCC Lakeshore Campus represents the value a community college provides in helping students fulfill their dreams. A spirit of collaboration carries through the space itself, with central gathering spaces for pairs and small groups, as well as large gatherings. The vitality of the new campus has energized the surrounding area too, bringing in new restaurants and shops. A large open area is used to host campus and community events. Plus, faculty and staff now experience the benefits of working together face-to-face and report an increase in collaboration and communication.  

Haworth Very chairs with Planes table for GRC campus

Focus on Innovation

A vacant mall department store provided GRCC with the opportunity to consolidate their four Lakeshore locations into the new GRCC Lakeshore Campus. Nine classrooms plus specialized labs for computers, chemistry, electronics, automation, welding, and machine tooling provide spaces where students gain the skills they’ll use to drive innovation in future jobs as well as entrepreneurial ventures. Many manufacturers, including Haworth, benefit from GRCC’s state-of-the-art technical training programs, while students learn valuable skills close to home that will help them earn more and advance in their careers.