Grand Rapids Public Schools – Burton Elementary and Middle School

Project Details


Grand Rapids Public Schools


Grand Rapids, MI


174,000 square feet





Progressive AE designed the renovation of the entire 188,000-square-foot 1920’s historic school K-8 building for Burton School in Grand Rapids, MI. This project is LEED-certified.

The exterior renovation included opening windows that had been covered over. All replaced windows were specified with new, more efficient windows that still respected the original design. The existing front entrance used several individual doors. The new entry features a front “porch” with one main entrance that all students use and looks like it could have been part of the original building.

The addition does not attempt to recreate the original design; instead it stands as a symbol of moving toward the future. However, the scale and color complement the existing structure in its context.


Renovate a 1920's building to meet modern educational needs while addressing the significant presence and historical reference the building had in its residential community.


"The new Burton School is 'the best school on the planet!' Having a school like Burton is what every child, teacher, and community deserves…..nothing less." Burton School Principal