GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Before scheduling a date with a wrecking ball, Grand Rapids Public Schools is putting the Kensington School property on the sales block.
The GRPS Board approved the sale or demolition of the property earlier this month as part of the district’s Facilities Master Plan. The structure is in poor condition, but before demolishing the building, GRPS wants to see if an outside company is interested in leasing or purchasing the property.
“Our primary goal for this process is to determine if there are any viable projects on the table for the property that meet community needs or needs of the city as a whole,” GRPS Board President Raynard Ross said in a release. “We will move forward judiciously and obtain input from area residents before making any final decisions. We understand how important it is to do this right.”
The building, at 1031 Kensington Avenue SW, is nearly 100 years old. It was last known as Adelante High School and closed in 2004.
The Facilities Master Plan is part of a major restructuring effort within the district, that includes closing schools in the coming years. GRPS officials say they operate too many buildings for the number of students in the district.
In 2020, GRPS reported approximately 14,000 students — down from more than 19,000 students in 2008.
“We’re going to use a rubric of health of building, utilization, what it will take to bring it up to code, or all those different things,” superintendent Leadriane Roby said at a Dec. 5 board meeting. “And how do we pair buildings together or programs together. So, it’ll be a very layered decision, but we’ll make sure we also have a rubric and then again going back to the community so people aren’t surprised.”
According to the district’s sales notice, the minimum acceptable bid for the property is $385,000. The GRPS Board received one estimate that priced the cost of demolition at $175,500. It’s expected to cost between $7 million and $10 million to restore the building back up to code.
GRPS will accept bids until 4 p.m. Feb. 1, 2023.