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What Would You Like Highland to Do with Highland Middle School?

Residents at Monday's meeting came up with several ideas for the vacant Highland Middle School. What would you like to see the building turned into?

During the closed session meeting of the Highland Township Board Monday, residents were invited to brainstorm their ideas for the vacant Highland Middle School building. Those ideas included converting the space into an office building, moving the Highland Adult Activity Center to the space, and moving township offices to the building.

With the township now negotiating the purchase of the building, White Lake-Highland Patch wants to know:

What would you like to see the vacant building turned into?

Tell us in the comments below.

Loretta Bradfield November 28, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I like trade show center
Erica Sikma November 28, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I think it would be wonderful if part of the building could be used by the HVCA, and do art instruction in the building, for seniors or after-school for kids, or evenings for adults. Maybe even some sort of outreach center/safe place for at-risk kids after school?
Susan White November 28, 2012 at 09:53 PM
I like the trade show/expo center idea, Another possibility is an early childhood/community center. PAL and Head Start could have permanent homes there plus parenting classes could be taught. A place for support and/or special interest groups to meet would also be nice. I have 3 years before I am age eligible to take classes at the senior centers but I love beadwork and books. I also have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome but I doubt we have enough residents with that to make up a support group.
Judi Crawford November 29, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Dear Susan, Erica and Loretta...we want it all ..here's to going forward as a Community Center for everyone
Becky Zamieski November 29, 2012 at 03:52 AM
I was all about renting out as banquet facility for local restaurants or whoever, but my first choice would be anything educational -- community college in the area would be cool. I'll help run it if it turns into a restaurant (that's a big restaurant). I also like the idea of an expo/trade center. Isn't it big enough to be a combination of these things?
Justin Scott November 29, 2012 at 08:29 AM
1 word "Hackerspace" It is a place kids/students of all ages could go and create things. Whether its elementary school kids build Legos or High School kids building robots. Several of these programs have been popping up in and around major cities. Detroit has their own called i3 http:// i3detroit.com where you pay a premium and you gain access to their warehouse of tools, parts, and expertise from professionals who can teach you how to do things. Compared to i3's $40/month premium, highland could easily get away with doing $10-$20/month after the initial payments of getting the place up and running. I know several people from in and around Highland who would love a place like this for their kids/students as well as themselves. That includes businesses that would be more than happy to help create a safe environment for kids and keep them off the streets. The building could be used for several things like housing the Lego League for the Elementary school levels for practice and preparation after school. I remember being in 5th grade and working of these really slow computers and only being able to meet when our teach could stay after. Fortunately my teacher (Mr. Chisik, Principal of Brooks) was able to set aside time often enough for us to do that but I know a lot of groups who couldn't and would have definitely benefited from more time working together. For more information let email me at jjonscott@comcast.net
Laura Vogel November 29, 2012 at 09:46 PM
The building(s) are how many square feet? I'm just skeptical, sorry, that so much square footage can truly be put to good use, especially given that the building is configured as a school and not e.g. as office space. If the building were to be repurposed as office space for multiple tenants, what tenants would would want to rent office space that didn't have separate entrances for their suite, didn't have their own bathroom(s) and that instead used common hallway bathrooms, etc. I completely "get" the idea of wanting to repurpose the building versus tearing it down or letting it sit empty/abandoned, but you need to look at the building through the eyes of a potential rent-paying commercial tenant. And I'm not personally seeing a whole lot of value for what I might pay as a commercial tenant.
Erica Sikma November 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM
It would be interesting to see if the building (part or whole) could be used as some sort of co-op--people in both the Highland and White Lake communities are so creative, it would be nice to have a one-stop shop, per se, to check out what everyone has to offer (and not just during craft sale time), or even come together and learn something from each other's crafts/talents. Or even moving Harbor High into HMS. The building, I think, has several potential uses. I would hate to see it torn down...that stretch is looking terrible with the vacant school building, the vacant bike shop and lumber yard, and then the former gas station. It really needs rejuvenating. The old lumber yard would be a beautiful space for an art gallery for large-scale work ;) (as a wife of a metal sculpture artist, not that I'm partial to him or anything ;). I've lived in the area my entire life, as has my dad (50+ years). I would hate to see the area fall into even worse disrepair. We have so much history, from the railroad to equestrian roots, as well as a wonderful area for recreation. Something definitely needs to change.

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