By Travis Smola
It was the end of an era in Schoolcraft as the school board accepted a proposal to sell the early elementary school building at its September board meeting. It was held in the former school on Cass Street.
Buyers Jamie and Windy Clark of Clark Logic are planning to use the building and property as a residential development. The couple displayed artist’s renderings of improvements they hope to make to modernize the building’s exterior slightly, but stressed how they wanted to re-use the existing buildings.
Stitt said the price of the sale was $75,000. The board and buyers hope to close the sale by October 31.
“We want to honor the history of Schoolcraft,” Jamie Clark said. “That’s the first and foremost priority of this project.”
He said they plan to have a yet undecided number of condos and they are hoping parts of the building such as the gym can be used in conjunction with their Wind and James event center. The event center is a brownfield renovation of the former Arco property on Eliza Street.
While residential is a new venture for the Three Rivers-based business, they are excited by the opportunity. “We really see it as a complimentary opportunity to expand our vision in the arts,” Windy Clark said.
“You can see just from the drawings, it’s a very professional approach to everything they do,” Village President Keith Gunnett said. “I think everyone in town will enjoy that it is not coming down.”
Trustee Jason Walther felt it was the perfect solution for the school and community. “It feels like you guys were part of our strategic planning session a few months ago,” Walther said. “One of our big challenges that we have in the community is just in housing.”
Former board trustee Skip Fox had many memories from the building and his children and grandchildren attending classes there. “If walls could talk, we’d probably all be a little shaken,” Fox said. He recalled watching basketball games in the tiny gym before the bleachers were walled off.
Former Principal Nancy Haas also felt the board was making the right decision in letting go of the building that has served as elementary, middle and high schools over the years. “A building is just a building, but it’s the memories that will be in your hearts,” she said.