New Life for Riverside Elementary School

Posted on May 2, 2014KCichon

Grand Rapids, MI – (May 8, 2014).  The former Riverside Elementary School will soon undergo a major transformation into a Vista Springs senior housing and care community.  Integral to its operations will be a wellness center offering comprehensive rehabilitation programs with a therapy gym and state-of-the-art equipment.

The school was constructed in 1954, and served elementary students in the Creston neighborhood until it closed in 2010.  It has since been sitting vacant.  Vista Springs’ plans include repurposing the existing 36,681 sq. ft. structure and constructing a new 15,000 sq. ft. addition.  The project will include 40 apartments comprised of studio suites and one- to two-bedroom accommodations.

The project will be operated as a state licensed Home for the Aged facility.  In addition to being designed to meet high regulatory standards and requirements, the project design will include all-inclusive resort-style services and amenities, such as concierge services, transportation, and a variety of venues for entertaining and dining.  While the main focus for Vista Springs is serving its guests and residents, the development will include amenities that will provide entertainment, recreation, and educational opportunities for the surrounding Creston neighborhood, such as a community theatre and conference center where movies, stage productions, and educational seminars will be scheduled and open to the public.  The project also includes private meeting rooms for hosting local groups and community events.

The existing property has a very popular neighborhood playground.  Vista Springs will relocate this playground to the west side of the building in order to provide a more attractive and accessible site with new parking spaces dedicated just for the park.  To ensure the park will forever be a neighborhood amenity, post-construction Vista Springs will donate the land for the park area to the city.  Working with the city, Vista Springs envisions this site to become more than a playground, but a park with benches and other features that will be enjoyed by all residents of the Creston neighborhood.

Wolverine Building Group and architect Richard Postema & Associates will complete Phase I of the project, which includes selective demolition and removals.  Wolverine Building Group is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year.  For more information about Wolverine Building Group, please visit  To learn more about the Vista Springs “Full of Life” differentiated lifestyle brand experience visit