ADA, MICH. - As the reconstruction of downtown Ada continues, plans have been finalized for one of the village's most iconic structures.
The little, red schoolhouse.
From 1859-1964, it was known as Carl School. For more than 100 years, it was a one-room schoolhouse located on the southwest corner of two roads, now known as Carl and Grand River Drive. In 1964, the building was raised and moved to its current location.
Well, the historic structure on the move again.
In early August, the schoolhouse is scheduled to be excavated from its foundation and moved, then returned.
"It will be a temporary move to the Riverfront Park area can be re-sculpted and re-contoured," said Ken Dixon, who is the lead architect on the project. "The entire Riverfront in Ada Village is going to be redone."
Dixon says the movers will cut small openings in the foundation wall of the structure, then slide in two big beams which will be used to hoist the schoolhouse, which will then be rolled to an open field located about 300 yards from where the building currently sits.
"They're going to be building River St. in the next couple months," added Dixon. "North of River St. will be the large development of retail, residential and office buildings.
"This is on the south side of River St.; it'll be part of what will be known as Schoolhouse Plaza."
Before the schoolhouse is brought back and re-positioned along the newly-reconstructed riverfront area, Dixon says a new basement will be built, along with new footings and a new foundation, so the structure will be sound for years to come.
"The schoolhouse is one of the iconic images of Ada Village, and to be able to be a part of the team restoring it to its original manor, is wonderful," said Dixon.
The Ada Schoolhouse was purchased by longtime Ada resident Cheri DeVos, who has committed to relocate the structure during the construction. DeVos plans major upgrades and renovations to the Schoolhouse, restore it to its grandeur as a candy and ice cream store.
The entire Ada Village redevelopment project is on schedule. Ada Drive will re-open at the end of August.
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