Calvin opens Prince Conference Center to healthcare workers, GRPD free of charge


Naomi Vroegop

This is a front view of the Prince Conference Center.

Calvin is opening the doors to the Prince Conference Center to Spectrum Health employees and the Grand Rapids Police Department for free.

Both of these professions are in close contact with members of the public who may have the coronavirus and are at risk of spreading it to their families.

One full floor will be available to Spectrum employees and another full floor will be available for the GRPD. Each floor has 23 rooms. Calvin Dining Services is offering free delivery to those staying at the Prince.

GRPD contacted Director of Campus Safety Bill Corner on March 26, and Director of Health Services Dr. Laura Champion was made aware of Spectrum Health’s need shortly thereafter.

Corner brought the request to Sarah Visser, the vice president of student life, who then raised the issue with Calvin’s cabinet. According to Corner, the cabinet approved it on March 31.

According to the press release, no Spectrum staff or GRPD members who have tested positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19 will be staying at the Prince. 

“Based on certain criteria, team members may need a place to rest or isolate. We are grateful for the partnership we have with Calvin University,” said Pam Ries, senior vice president and chief human resource officer for Spectrum Health. 

“Providing housing at the Prince Conference Center helps our employees feel safe and keeps their families healthy while they care for the community,” Ries said.

Sergeant Dan Adams from the GRPD said that the department was looking for ways to take pressure off its officers’ shoulders and that the longstanding relationship between Calvin and the GRPD made Calvin a natural partner.  “The officers were very thankful for the opportunity. It gave them another option and one less thing to worry about that,” Adams said.

Three Spectrum Health employees who live outside Grand Rapids have stayed at Prince, but the GRPD has yet to use Calvin’s offer, according to Corner.

“We want to be supportive,” Corner said. “We want to be good neighbors. This seemed like a logical use of our resources to support the community.”


This story has been updated with comment from Sgt. Dan Adams.