With a $500,000 donation from the Cotton family, the Grosse Pointe Academy in Grosse Pointe Farms will open a Center for Creative Studies for middle school students. With the renovations, the Grosse Pointe Academy’s lower quad area of the main school building will be transformed into a gathering area and learning space for students.

With a $500,000 donation from the Cotton family, the Grosse Pointe Academy in Grosse Pointe Farms will open a Center for Creative Studies for middle school students. With the renovations, the Grosse Pointe Academy’s lower quad area of the main school building will be transformed into a gathering area and learning space for students.

Photo rendering provided by the Grosse Pointe Academy


Grosse Pointe Academy electives to expand after $500,000 donation

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 10, 2018

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — The electives program at the Grosse Pointe Academy is in the process of expanding and should be ready in time for the new school year this fall.

On June 28, GPA officials announced the expansion after the school received a $500,000 gift from the Cotton family, a local family that has ties to the school.

According to school officials, the donation is the largest gift to date designated for programming. The financial contribution will allow school officials to upgrade programs at the school. The GPA has an enrollment of approximately 200 students from the age of 2 1/2 up to the eighth grade.

“We are grateful to the Cotton family for their generous support of these program-driven facility improvements,” GPA’s Head of School Tommy Adams said in a prepared statement. “Our whole community will benefit from these beautiful new spaces, especially our middle school students whose newly developed elective classes will make significant use of these facilities.”

The donation will be utilized in three designated learning areas. It will provide for a new Center for Creative Studies, help transform the main school building’s lower quad area into a gathering space, and upgrade the lower gymnasium.

The three designated learning spaces will be redesigned in an effort to promote collaboration, problem-solving and creative innovation for the middle school’s new business explorations, tech ed and life skills classes. While the changes are primarily targeted at the middle school level, all students will feel the benefits of the $500,000 donation.

“The Cotton family are wonderful people. We’re so grateful for their generosity. It’s really going to transform our school. They have really helped out,” said Didi DeBoer, assistant head of school for grades four through eight. “This gives us the chance to explore and introduce new programs in the middle school.”

Progress is already underway for the new Center for Creative Studies. The classroom will include dry-erase walls, flat-screen monitors, mobile work tables, advanced technology, a recording studio and two cooking stations.

The lower quad area of the main school building will be transformed into a gathering area and learning space for students. Once finished, the area will feature a new school store that middle school students in the business exploration class will manage. The area is designed to incorporate flexible seating options and flat-screen monitors for class use and displays, and students of all ages will have access to the area. Flexible seating will allow students to choose where they work and with whom. They also can change their location and positions as needed.

The lower gymnasium will receive fresh paint, a refinished floor, flexible seating options, a dynamic projector and screen, improved lighting, new wall padding and wall-covering graphics. The renovations will allow for a wider variety of academic and nonacademic activities for students.

“We’re moving forward with the courses to start at the beginning of the school year,” DeBoer said.

DeBoer said the upgrades also will make it possible for the students to venture on field trips to local businesses to get experience beyond the classroom.

“This is another area that enhances their learning,” DeBoer said. “I think the courses the students will be able to have are really exciting.”