FHPA History

Forest Hills Plat, developed largely by Grand Rapids' general contractor RD Brooks Inc., was established in 1963. That same year, the homeowners established Forest Hills Park Association to oversee the plat. In the early years, only those living in the plat bought into the association. However, membership has since been extended to families outside the plat when openings are available. Many families have been involved over the years, but the key original members include Mr. & Mrs. Tom Evert, Mr. & Mrs. Jack Hogan, Mr. & Mrs. Charley Vandenberg, Mr. & Mrs. John Wandas, and Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Wietke.

Although the Lowell YMCA was contracted to operate the facility its first year, in the decades since, a short list of long-tenured local swimming coaches have led the way. The Wandas' and Evert's first hire in 1964 of Gary VanderLende stretched 15 years and culminated with the completion of Creston High School's pool in 1978 when he was selected to be their first head coach (for whom the Creston Pool is now named). Tim McGee (now Forest Hills Northern Husky Football Freshman Coach) and Dan Scripsema (now Jenison's Swim Coach) stepped up to lead the pool (1979-1980 & 1981-1982, respectively). The Sugiyama family has been at the helm ever since: Dave Sugiyama for 27 years (1983-2009) and now his son, Tim (2010-Present). Keeping with tradition, both taught in the classroom in addition to the pool - Dave at Grand Rapids Public Schools and Tim at Northview.

Improvements the association has made over the years, with this consistent pool staff leading the way, include the conversion of the clubhouse from a flat to peaked roof (1994), addition of the set of upper tennis courts (1995), replacement of the platform dive with a water slide (2009), replacement of the original wood decking with an extension of the concrete apron (2010), installation of a cabana/shade canopy (2010), and a new playground (2012).