Grand Rapids Museum School

Partnering with the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids Public Schools worked to renovate the 1940’s WPA Public Museum into an experiential learning center.

After a rigorous 11-month application and evaluation process, XQ: The Super School Project awarded the Grand Rapids Public Schools a $10 million grant to create the Public Museum High School from the existing vacant historic 1940 Public Museum building. The Public Museum High School is focused on creating experiential learning that leverages cultural artifacts, local impact projects, and museum studies to spark student inquiry and creativity. Attached to the current Museum archive storage building, students will access artifacts to study, archive and document.

The design of the facility was an exercise in ‘Design Thinking’ since an actual educational program had yet to be developed. Kingscott in collaboration with Lott3Metz, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Valley State University, Kendall College and City of Grand Rapids transformed the existing concrete shell into an exciting, flexible learning environment featuring four ‘guilds’ with common collaboration space, a multi-purpose space, an archive lab and maker space all around the existing great hall.

Designed for 360 students, the first freshman class of 90 students will start in the fall of 2019. These students are graduates of the Public Museum Middle School, also designed by Kingscott/Lott3Metz and located in the present museum.


  • Large commons space
  • Maker space
  • Artifact room for up close study of museum artifacts
  • Built-in servery for open lunches
  • Four ‘guilds’ sharing common collaborative space

Cost$10 MillionCompletion July 2018Size260-student capacity, Grades 9-12 35,530 sq. ft.

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