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GRDadof3

Schools to Residential Projects

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As everyone is well aware, the Grand Rapids Public School's enrollment figures are down, causing the school board to look at selling several buildings and consolidating facilities, as well as the current construction of several new schools as part of the bond issue that was passed.

We know there was a situation with Huff Elementary just recently where it could possibly change to a residential project. I look at very interesting schools like the Arthur Vandenberg Academy on Wealthy, Iqoquis School and Fountain School near City High as maybe having some great potential as possible apartment or condo projects. If the demographics of the city are changing that much to where the schools aren't needed, why not take advantage of this and create some very cool projects like Union Square, and increase the tax rolls for the city. A lot of these old buildings have some very unique architecture style to them.

What do you guys think?

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As everyone is well aware, the Grand Rapids Public School's enrollment figures are down, causing the school board to look at selling several buildings and consolidating facilities, as well as the current construction of several new schools as part of the bond issue that was passed.

We know there was a situation with Huff Elementary just recently where it could possibly change to a residential project. I look at very interesting schools like the Arthur Vandenberg Academy on Wealthy, Iqoquis School and Fountain School near City High as maybe having some great potential as possible apartment or condo projects. If the demographics of the city are changing that much to where the schools aren't needed, why not take advantage of this and create some very cool projects like Union Square, and increase the tax rolls for the city. A lot of these old buildings have some very unique architecture style to them.

What do you guys think?

I have an opinion.. of course....

I think part of the reason that Union Square works so well is b/c of it's location ot d/t, and the fact that it's in a Ren Zone. Although I think Iriqoquis (sp?) is a cool looking building, I don't know if you'd be able to market it as an Apartment/Condo living spot as easily as you could a school near the heart of the city..

my .02 cents..

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Definitely the area is going to play a factor. Fountain School would be a no-brainer. Right in the middle of a beautiful Heritage Hill neighborhood. Same with Vandenberg. In fact, with St Mary's Hospital so close, Vandenberg would be a great place for med students and St Mary's employeees, and is also in Heritage Hill (or right on the outskirts).

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I agree with snoogit.

The central city continues to grow, hence these schools are needed. A healthy city is one with neighborhood schools. We are just in the beginning stages of the "Return to the City" era for GR.

That's my Next Generation thought.....

BTW PBJ: Ottawa Hills has the highest median income per household in the City of GR.

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In regards to the central city growing, how many of those moving in are actual families with kids? The only ones that have been touted as moving in are either young couples without kids, or empty nesters. Are there actual families with kids moving in, and just not being reported on?

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In regards to the central city growing, how many of those moving in are actual families with kids? The only ones that have been touted as moving in are either young couples without kids, or empty nesters. Are there actual families with kids moving in, and just not being reported on?

Yes. Have lunch at Marie Catrib's and check out all the strollers walking by. I tend to meet a lot of new young families just by hanging out in the neighborhood.

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I think my point is, shouldn't the kids who are in the GR school district have access to better facilities than the old outdated school buildings? If you look at Fountain and Vandenberg, they were set up for teaching styles and systems back in the early 1900's, not teaching for today and the future. The quirky workings of an old building are endearing and cool to potential residents, but are very distracting and detrimental to students. I look at the brand Elementary where my daughter goes, and everything is state of the art: media rooms, computer labs, commons areas near the classrooms, soundproof walls, environmentally friendly design, everything condusive to learning.

As the city collects additional revenue from the new residents living in the old schools, and as the neighborhoods become more attractive to newcomers, then build new schools to accommodate the influx of people ;)

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I think my point is, shouldn't the kids who are in the GR school district have access to better facilities than the old outdated school buildings? If you look at Fountain and Vandenberg, they were set up for teaching styles and systems back in the early 1900's, not teaching for today and the future. The quirky workings of an old building are endearing and cool to potential residents, but are very distracting and detrimental to students. I look at the brand Elementary where my daughter goes, and everything is state of the art: media rooms, computer labs, commons areas near the classrooms, soundproof walls, environmentally friendly design, everything condusive to learning.

As the city collects additional revenue from the new residents living in the old schools, and as the neighborhoods become more attractive to newcomers, then build new schools to accommodate the influx of people ;)

If it means closing Fountain school, and opening with a new High School then its worth it. But before you do that, you have to build that new hgh school...

We need someone like those Kalamazoo investors to step up to the plate it looks like in order to do this... If theres anyone who would do it, its the Meijer family.

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I think my point is, shouldn't the kids who are in the GR school district have access to better facilities than the old outdated school buildings? .....I look at the brand Elementary where my daughter goes, and everything is state of the art: media rooms, computer labs, commons areas near the classrooms, soundproof walls, environmentally friendly design, everything condusive to learning.

As the city collects additional revenue from the new residents living in the old schools, and as the neighborhoods become more attractive to newcomers, then build new schools to accommodate the influx of people ;)

Please tell me the cost of renovating the old schools versus the cost of demolition and new construction.

What school district to your kids go to GRDaddy?

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Please tell me the cost of renovating the old schools versus the cost of demolition and new construction.
I don't know, it probably depends on the school. I could be wrong, just throwing ideas out.

What school district to your kids go to GRDaddy?

A place that has a new school. ;)

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I don't know, it probably depends on the school. I could be wrong, just throwing ideas out.

A place that has a new school. ;)

That was a DUH answer. No one is asking about what school, just the district. What colors are you sporting?

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I don't want to be judged by my colors. No, actually I don't know the colors. My daughter is just in kindergarten. FHE.

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I don't want to be judged by my colors. No, actually I don't know the colors. My daughter is just in kindergarten. FHE.

Damn, I was going to guess that too :P

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I don't want to be judged by my colors. No, actually I don't know the colors. My daughter is just in kindergarten. FHE.

I know what you mean. My colors were blue/gold. I still get a lot of flak/looks of surprise for that, especially since I work in the city.

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Glad to hear I'm not the only one who catches flak. I tell people that I used to live in a pretty rural area outside Lansing, and at least I'm moving closer to the city as I get older, instead of going the opposite direction :thumbsup:

Oh man! If I hear the Christmas shoe song, I'm going to get ill :sick:

So you guys don't like my schools idea? I thought it was pretty good.

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I wonder who came up with $15M for some selling schools. What ever Union Square used to be sold for around $1.5M and its huge. I don't think fountain would go for that even though its in a great spot.

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My .02: I have a lot of optimism for the city. In the next decade or so, I see more and more people moving back into the city. Yes, it will start (actually already has) with the empty-nesters, students, those without children; but it will soon include school-age kids. While it is cool to convert some of these older schools to other uses and may provide revenue relief in the short-term, I want to look farther than that. The buildings, and especially the property will become very valuable. If the school system has sold it all and then needs to expand, they will only be able to do so at a much higher expense. I think that they should just be careful when looking to close and get rid of properties, they will be needing them again soon! :D

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