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Martin Luther King Park lodge demolition begins

Demolition begins on the lodge at Martin Luther King Park on Grand Rapids' southeast side.
David Limbaugh
Demolition begins on the lodge at Martin Luther King Park on Grand Rapids' southeast side.

Demolition of the lodge at Grand Rapids’ Martin Luther King Park is underway, but something new will take its place

“Neighbors have been asking for a while for something that is better fitting for them, better fitting for the number of uses that go on in this park space and in this neighborhood, too.”

Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt says the decades-old lodge has served the MLK neighborhood well, most recently as a base for city summer camp programs and locker rooms for the pool, but it’s time for a new facility.

“In the place of this existing lodge, we’ve got a new facility that will host a new gymnasium that will be open to the public for their use.”

The new 25,000 square foot center will include a community room that can host up to 250 people, along with classrooms that will have access to the pool area, all of which residents are able to rent for personal events.

Marquardt says, despite construction, there will be no interruptions to summer programs.

“The pool will be open. We intend to open on June 7th and keep the pool open all the way through late August and summer camp will be happening as well. We’ve been partnering up with a local church here in the community to be that home base while this project is under construction.”

The new center is expected to be complete by summer of 2025 and cost $19.7 million, much of which comes from the dedicated parks millage that was overwhelmingly passed in 2019.

“A great deal of thanks to the voters of Grand Rapids.”

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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