Dear Ludington Area School Board,
Finally, a group of people in Ludington with some common sense. Your patience and careful deliberation in regard to the school properties is very appreciated by many of the residents in the downtown neighborhoods. This Lake Lady agrees that the land and lots are VERY valuable and should be sold accordingly.
It appears that you are being smart and creative in your planning for these sites.
I agree that you should tear the buildings down and retain the playgrounds.
I agree you should then sell the lots at a tidy profit (to help pay for the bond debt!)to a developer or single family homeowners willing to build nice homes on the lots.
May I suggest that you find a builder that might want to build Two-three bedroom cape style homes similar to the cottage communities in South Carolina and other southern beach towns?
There is a huge demand for older folks who have big houses on Hamlin to downsize and move to the downtown. Some want single family homes and not condos with Airbnb transients.
You have an opportunity to create a lovely 55 and over cottage community of homes with gardens, sitting areas, and a playground for their grandchildren. It would fill a need and add a demographic downtown that is currently not being tended to. These folks often have a lot of disposable income to spend at restaurants and bars and visiting children and grandchildren will add to the fiscal health of the downtown. These homeowners would also support a downtown market which is sorely needed after the last one closed down.
Perhaps you can knock some sense into the heads of the grant thirsty ,low income housing , freebie give away entitlement grifters on the down town development crew and the Mayors office.
Carry on with the good fight and do what is right for ALL citizens of the downtown and city.
Thank you for your common sense and hard work!
The above snippet is from yesterday's school board packet, I didn't attend the meeting, nor have I caught the COLDNews article about what happened at the meeting other than they did reject the offer. So since the minutes have yet to be published, I don't know whether the board had some good points about not selling the Lakeview site or what to do with the properties, I doubt that they really had a principled stand, rather they listened to their lawyers and superintendent recommendations-- and it definitely wasn't any kind of deal for the school district, there would be a lot of angry people if they had taken that offer.
I disagree that the LASD should adopt a raze-them-and-replace-them with single family residential units for all of their soon-to-be-vacated schools. The idea would probably work fine for Lakeview and make money, but I think there are better value opportunities for rehabbing Foster (I'd love to see a community center or a private school take root there), and potentially weighing all alternatives at PM Elementary.
We are going to be finding out in the not so distant future what an expensive mistake voters made in approving moving away from neighborhood schools is. Busing alone is going to cost the Ludington taxpayers a fortune.
As far as the vacated buildings are concerned, the longer they go unused the faster they will deteriorate, especially if the heat is turned off. Anything to do with removing the buildings is going to cost the taxpayers dearly. No matter who tears them down, it will come out of our pockets, either by the school district doing the demolition or by shaving a huge amount off the selling price so a private speculator can remove them and make a profit. Demolishing older commercial buildings can be a huge expense not only because of the demolition itself but any lead or asbestos abatement can increase the demo process to the extreme.
To bad the school district doesn't have a money clock to show how much we are losing from the time this new school debacle was passed up to it's completion and disposing of the older properties and forward into the future. Maybe then we could really see what a big mistake this was.
That is scary FS. We can thank the 2 party system for the debt that could cause America to collapse. God help us. Jesus saves and these days, that's a miracle.