Visitors to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (FMG) are being greeted by construction as the popular attraction begins work on its new welcome center.
FMG is in the midst of its $115 million Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love campaign, which includes construction of a new 60,000-square-foot welcome center, the Covenant Learning Center, Cook Transportation Center, a new sculpture garden entry plaza, and a new outdoor picnic pavilion. The project also includes an expanded and upgraded amphitheater, expansion and renovations to the existing building, expanded parking, gardens and sculpture changes and additions, and a new endowment fund.
Signage and staff will help visitors navigate through the construction areas during the different project phases.
In its current phase, FMG said guests can expect to see three major changes over the next several months:
- A new temporary entrance is ready for visitors. Guests will now enter through this building and approach the welcome desk from the west. This will be the main entrance until the new welcome center opens.
- Parking Lot A will be closed and the handicap accessible parking spots will be moved closer to the new entrance.
- The Peter C. and Pat Cook Entry Arbor and PNC Bank Garden Portico (the glass-covered walkway under which you used to enter the building) will be removed and recycled. All guests will enter through the temporary entrance.
FMG embarked on the campaign after seeing visitor numbers soar to more than 750,000 people since first opening its doors in 1995. The original welcome space was designed around an annual expected attendance of just over 200,000, making a strong case for the renovations, according to FMG.
FMG expects to see attendance grow to 1.2 million to 1.5 million annually, and the renovations are meant to accommodate those numbers.
Keep an eye on the progress at FMG Honoring a Legacy of Love.
*Photos courtesy of FMG