College completes $15M STEM center


Courtesy Cornerstone University

A local college has finished a new 32,000-square-foot building designed to advance its STEM programs.

Grand Rapids-based Cornerstone University opened the $15.5-million Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology this month.

The facility is located on the main campus, at 1001 E. Beltline Ave. NE, just north of the Hansen Athletic Center.

Funded entirely by a capital campaign and named after its lead donors, the facility is meant to expand “Christ-centered educational programs” in STEM fields.

The three-story building features seven labs and teaching spaces that each accommodate 30 students, group study areas that accommodate up to 75 students and faculty offices.

The building honors multiple donors and faculty members: it houses an anatomy and physiology lab in memory of Reva Miller; a chemistry lab named for Dick and Linda Antonini; an environmental lab dedicated to Professor Raymond "Gator" Gates; an engineering lab in honor of Ed and Marge Daverman; an exercise and anatomical lab named for Jerry and Marcy Tubergen; and a microbiology lab honoring J.C. and Tammy Huizenga.

The facility also has an indoor plant wall, rain garden, aquarium and creation-inspired artwork.

Shawn Newhouse, VP for traditional undergraduate academics at Cornerstone University, said the facility is a game-changer for the students in the fields it serves.

"West Michigan has an increasing need for graduates from STEM fields, and we are committed to matriculating students who will help meet that need,” Newhouse said.

Construction took 13 months.

Plainfield Township-based Progressive AE was the architect and interior designer on the project.

The Christman Company, based in Lansing, was the contractor for the project.

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