GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRPS) — The Grand Rapids Public Schools leadership team announced a recommendation Monday for a new elementary school at the site of Aberdeen Academy.

The new state-of-the-art neighborhood school would open in the fall of 2027, replacing the current Aberdeen Academy and Palmer Elementary schools that are slated to close that year.

The proposal for a new school at Aberdeen is a direct result of the feedback GRPS received during community engagement last year as part of the Reimagine GRPS with Us! plan.

The original recommendation in November 2023 called for a neighborhood elementary school at North Park. During feedback sessions, scholars and families explained that the North Park location was too far north to replace Palmer and Aberdeen.

Following an analysis of current scholar addresses and recent birthrate data provided by the Kent County Health Department, GRPS determined that the Aberdeen location was best suited for a neighborhood elementary school.

GRPS conducted a thorough analysis of the work required to renovate the current 95-year-old Aberdeen building. The proposal to build new was made after it was determined that renovation costs would exceed 80% of the cost of building a new school.

It is estimated that renovating Aberdeen Academy would cost $28 million - $32 million. Construction of a new school will cost an estimated $35 million.

Construction of a new school is not expected to impact learning for scholars and staff at the current Aberdeen Academy.

The significant investment using funds from the voter-approved bond in November 2023 would mark the first new school to be built in the northeast quadrant of the district since 1965.

GRPS will host two opportunities to provide feedback to the proposal for a new Aberdeen.

February 21, 3:45pm, at Palmer Elementary

February 27, 6:30pm, at Aberdeen Academy

*Childcare and interpreters will be available at both events

If you are unable to attend a feedback event, you can complete this online feedback form. 

The Board of Education is expected to vote on the updated proposal in March.