MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) - Eight schools in Muskegon County did not re-open this week, making for a total of 11 vacant school buildings. Districts are attempting to sell and even give the buildings away, but those districts are finding there's not much serious interest in the structures.
The former Muskegon Heights Public School District has four vacant elementary schools. Anything of value left inside Glendale, Lindbergh, and Roosevelt schools will be auctioned online in September and October. Only Loftis Elementary has a chance of being repurposed. The district's Emergency Financial Manager is accepting sealed bids for the school.
This summer, Muskegon Public Schools closed Bluffton, Nims, Craig, and McLaughlin schools. District Superintendent Jon Felske says school leaders have fielded interest in McLaughlin from a Muskegon daycare center and a few other organizations. This week school maintenance workers started boarding up windows on McLaughlin to make the building more secure. Blufton Elementary school may hold the most value for Muskegon Public Schools because it sits on six acres near Lake Michigan.
Fleske says what's happening in his district is no different than what's happening in cities around the state. He points to declining enrollment and cuts to school funding as the main problems spurring consolidation.
This summer school administration at Mona Shores moved out of their building on McCracken Street. A Muskegon agency that serves athletes with disabilities planned to buy the former school from the district for one dollar, but recently school leaders were informed that deal was off. Now the district is likely to raze the building.