Opera Grand Rapids building new $2.25M facility

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Opera Grand Rapids is building a $2.25 million facility to house rehearsals, offices, special events and small performances.

A groundbreaking was scheduled for Wednesday for the 14,000-square-foot Betty Van Andel Opera Center. It also will have room for costume and property storage, educational activities and a costume shop.

Jay and Betty Van Andel pledged $1 million nearly eight years ago to support the project and kick off fundraising. Jay Van Andel, who co-founded direct-seller Amway in 1959, and his wife both died in 2004.

With the new building, Opera Grand Rapids plans to expand children's educational programs and allow bigger audiences for rehearsals. Major performances by Opera Grand Rapids take place at DeVos Place.