On Saturday, a sizeable group of onetime students, staff and community members strolled through the former Capac Middle School for one last time before the public space is sold for development.
For obvious reasons, the building holds a special place in the memories of those who learned and worked there since it was built in the 1930s. Even those who don’t have a personal connection to the structure could admire it’s architectural features that embody both beauty and functionality. Built in wooden shelving units and trophy cases, terrazzo floors, decorative tile work and more have stood the test of time—almost a century’s worth. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, those structures built before World War II were often constructed with higher-quality materials and by different standards that make them extra durable.
It’s still not known just how much of that character the new owners can or want to keep as part of their plans to turn the historic building and it’s more recent additions into apartments for senior citizens. The sale still has to be finalized between them and the school district and then the property developers will need to submit a site plan. Likely they will value the school’s unique features and recognize that the community does too.
Although there’s still many more steps to come in the Middle School’s “second act,” it appears it’s headed in an overall positive direction with benefits for many.
The school district will relieve themselves of the maintenance, upkeep and bills associated with the building. The village will see the property put on their tax rolls and hopefully see their businesses benefit from the patronage of new apartment residents. Local senior citizens will have another housing option to consider, one that’s convenient in its proximity to downtown stores and services.
Other school to senior housing transformations have been successful in neighboring communities, including Almont, Imlay City and Yale, and it seems this project is on a similar track.
We look forward to seeing the project advance and trust all those involved will keep its historic and economic benefits for the community top of mind.