An excellent consolidated school system recently won voter support in a local election. There are four public elementary schools, a middle school, a high school (accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the University of Michigan) plus special education and adult and community education programs. Public education serves some 3,500 individuals from Hastings and surrounding townships.
The public school system employs 350 people and reaches a population of approximately 20,000 people living within the boundaries of the 180 square mile district.
A Catholic school along with other Christian schools also operate in the Hastings area. Higher education is available at many institutions in nearby communities. Among them are Kellogg Community College, with a campus located west of Hastings and also in Battle Creek; Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo; Kendall School of Design in Grand Rapids; Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids; Lansing Community College in Lansing; Cooley Law School in Lansing and Michigan State University in Lansing. Some college credit courses are also available through the Hastings High School Adult Education program.
Education level: 10.4% of Barry County residents have 16 or more years of formal education; state average, 14.3%. Per capital expenditure for public education, $341; state average, $525.
Spectrum Health-Pennock offers a wide range of medical/surgical services, as well as a senior housing complex, known as Pennock Village, The Health & Fitness Center and a day care center. Spectrum Health-Pennock continues its growth and development with a new surgical center. With over 60 specialty-trained physicians on the medical staff, a broad spectrum of medical/surgical specialties are represented.
Eleven dentists are part of the community.
Four chiropractors have established practices in the area.
There are 43 churches in, or near, Hastings. Throughout the community there are churches of many denominations. Freedom to worship as you wish is attested to by the multiplicity of congregations in the area.