GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The reaction from alumni and neighborhood residents was emotional after Grand Rapids Public Schools announced Monday it plans to close 10 schools, including Creston High School.
When word came down that Creston High School may be closing, parent and alumna Lyn Sturus was shocked and saddened. She lives just a block away from the school.
"It upset me," said Sturus. "My parents moved here in the early '60s, so my sisters and I could go to this school. I enjoyed it and my youngest son went there and he liked it. A lot of people think it's a bad tough school, but it's not."
As part of their explanation why Creston may close, school officials said 60% of the children in the neighborhood don't attend Creston.
Jeff Huyck, who also lives a block from the school, sent all four of his children to City Middle and High School.
"We were looking for the best challenge for them academically, and they had been in the Montessori program before that, and the City program dovetailed very nicely into that," said Hyuck.
And then there's Carlton Brewster. Brewster is currently on Grand Rapids Catholic Central's coaching staff, but was a star on the Creston football team before graduating in 2001. He went on to become the second all-time leading receiver at Ferris State University and played for several teams in the NFL.
"I was just in shock," he said. "When people see me, you know, they don't talk about what I did at Ferris: two-time All-American. They don't talk about my professional career, playing in the NFL. They talk about Creston High School."
But now, what Brewster called the school's Polar Bear pride may soon be no more.
"I just feel sorry for myself, some of the alumni there, and also teachers," said Brewster. "Teachers that have been teaching there for years. That's all they know is Creston High School. And now all the sudden, next fall they've got to be working somewhere else. It's a sad thing for Creston High School and all the alums that went to Creston High School."
Brewster said his dream was to one day go back and become the head coach at Creston.
Meanwhile, the main concern for neighborhood residents is what will happen to the empty building if Creston's doors do indeed shut for good.
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