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GRCC Emergency Closing Procedures - 2015-2016

Updated November 19, 2015

It is the policy of Grand Rapids Community College to maintain normal operations on all regularly scheduled days; therefore, Grand Rapids Community College rarely closes because of winter weather conditions. Power outages may also force GRCC to close all or parts of the campus until power is restored. The decision to delay or close campus is based on several factors. If and when the College does close, students and employees need not report. Employees will be paid for their regularly scheduled work hours.

If and when the college does delay or close due due to inclement weather, all buildings will be closed. In the event of non-weather related issues impacting campus safety and security, such as power outages, mechanical failures, etc., the college may need to temporarily close some or all of the campus.

The following information may be found on this page:


Procedures to close the college:

GRCC Police and Facilities personnel assess campus and road conditions, including additional information from city, county and state resources, as needed. Factors considered in the discusion include:

    Inclement Weather:

  • Overall road conditions. - particularly main routes through the entire region, rather than localized conditions.  Weather conditions can very greatly throughout the service district
  • Whether campus parking lots, sidewalks and entries can be kept cleared for access
  • Whether law enforcement official are requesting that travel be limited
  • Current weather conditions and anticipated length of storm

The GRCC Chief of Police (or designee) contacts the college president (or designee) and a decision is made.  The decision to delay or close GRCC (or specific locations) will be made as quickly as possible, with 5:30 AM being the target.

  • In the event the college implements a delayed start, all custodial employees are to report as scheduled.  The college will re-open and employees are expected to report at 10:00 AM.  Classes that begin at 11:00 AM or later will be held as scheduled.
  • In the event the college does close, all custodial employees are to report as scheduled.  Students and other employees need not report.
  • In the event the college closes for day classes only, evening classes that begin at 6:00 PM or later will be held as scheduled.
  • If the college does not close in the morning, and weather conditions and circumstances worsen throughout the day, a determination to close for evening activities may occur.
  • If the decision to close is made, the Communications Department is informed and the college closing notification procedure is implemented.
  • If a particular campus is closed, all activities on that campus are canceled. Please read the specifics below, under “Messages.”

Where closing information will be posted:

  • A text message, email and an automated voice message will be sent to the mobile phone of students, employees and people who have signed up for our emergency notification system. Click here to sign up or learn more.
  • An email will be sent to your GRCC email address.
  • An alert will be placed on our homepage –
  • A recorded phone message will be placed on the college’s main phone line – (616) 234-4000.
  • Closing notices will run in local media. Communications Department staff will notify the media as early as possible; however, they do not control the time or accuracy of the information that is broadcast.
  • If classes are in session when a decision is made to close, an Emergency Phone Alert System message will be broadcast and notification will be displayed on digital signs.


Kent County – All

  • The message "GRCC – Delay" means morning classes and activities are cancelled on the downtown Main and DeVos campus, Lakeshore Campus, Tassell M-TEC and Regional Centers.   Campus Police and Custodial staff report as scheduled.  Staff report at 10:00 AM and classes that begin at 11:00 AM or later will be held as scheduled.

  • The message "GRCC – Closed  means cancellation of all GRCC and Ferris State University day and evening classes and activities on the downtown Grand Rapids Main and DeVos campuses, Lakeshore Campus, Tassell M-TEC and Regional Centers.

  • The message "GRCC Kent County – DAY Classes" means cancellation of all GRCC and Ferris State University day time classes and activities on the downtown Grand Rapids Main and DeVos campuses, Lakeshore campus, Tassell M-TEC and Regional Centers.   Classes that begin at 6:00 PM or later will be held as scheduled.

Kent County Regional Centers – Regional Center closings may occur separately and be announced by location.

  • Byron Center Regional Center (daytime):
    • GRCC daytime classes are not tied to Byron Center School District inclement weather closings. If GRCC Byron Center classes are canceled, the message will be “GRCC Byron Center – Classes canceled.”
  • Rockford/ Grandville/Others (evening):  If evening activities are canceled at sites where GRCC classes are being held, then classes are canceled. This determination is normally made by 3 p.m. (Example: If there are GRCC classes at Grandville High School and Grandville High School cancels all evening activities, then GRCC classes are canceled.) The message will be “GRCC (location) – Classes canceled.”
  • If the school district has canceled daytime operations, but intend on holding their evening activities, then GRCC will hold its classes.

Ottawa County – All

GRCC Lakeshore Campus facilities are not tied to the Grand Rapids campus for inclement weather closings.

  • The message "GRCC Ottawa County - Weather Delay" means morning classes and activities are cancelled on the Lakeshore Campus.   Staff report at 10:00 AM and classes that begin at 11:00 AM or later will be held as scheduled.
  • The message "GRCC Ottawa County – Closed means cancellation of all day and evening GRCC classes and activities at all Ottawa County locations.
  • The message "GRCC Ottawa County – Closed DAY Classes" means cancellation of all GRCC daytime classes and activities at all Ottawa county locations. Evening classes that begin at 6 PM or later will be held as scheduled.

Individual Ottawa County sites:

  • Day or evening GRCC courses at the OAISD Careerline Tech Center, West Ottawa High School-North Building and Grand Valley's Meijer Campus are not tied to those organizations' inclement weather closing decisions.
  • There may be times when individual Lakeshore Campus sites are impacted and not other Ottawa County sites. Under these circumstances, the message will be:
    • GRCC Lakeshore Campus (Specific Facility Name ) – Closed
      • Example: GRCC Lakeshore Campus West Ottawa – Closed
  • NOTE: When watching or listening for weather information, remember that the GRCC Lakeshore Campus will be listed under Ottawa County, not under Kent County.

Evening and weekend closures follow the same process and communications.

Student considerations when the college does not close:

  • The college does not encourage students to take unnecessary risks.
  • Weather conditions may vary widely across the college’s service area. For this reason, travel decisions must be the responsibility of each student after assessing the road conditions in their area.
  • Though GRCC does not close as readily as K-12 schools, if weather conditions permit people to travel to work, they also will be expected to travel to school.
  • Individual faculty members establish their own course/class attendance policies. However, in instances where travel is perilous and a student has communicated this to the instructor, the instructor is expected to demonstrate caring to a reasonable extent and assist the student in obtaining the materials and making up the activities which were missed.
  • Any student who feels he or she has been unfairly treated due to a weather-related absence should pursue his or her complaint through the normal channels.