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Keego Harbor community members continue to protest demolition of Roosevelt Elementary School

Keego Harbor community members continue to protest demolition of Roosevelt Elementary School
Posted at 10:15 PM, Mar 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-10 22:15:54-04

KEEGO HARBOR, Mi. (WXYZ) — Keego Harbor residents were outside of Roosevelt Elementary on Cass Lake Road protesting the demolition of the school which could happen as early as next month.

"Our city of Keego Harbor is so, so small… I don’t want a field, a five-acre field in the middle of my city,” said Kirsten Douglass, Keego Harbor resident.

 Douglass was one of the people protesting on Sunday.

 Her son went to Roosevelt before it closed two years ago after a ceiling collapsed in the building.

 “They moved out students over to what’s now the Abbot Roosevelt and then they’ve decided they wanted to demolish this beautiful historical building,” Douglass said. “The building was built by O Derrick who was Henry Ford’s favorite architect so it has historical meaning.”

 Back in October, the West Bloomfield School District sent 7 Action News a statement saying:

 “The district made extensive efforts to engage with the community throughout this process, holding five input/feedback sessions… this was not an easy recommendation to make and we understand the emotions surrounding the decision… maintaining it is not a safe or financially responsible choice. This decision has been under discussion for over a decade.”

“We are asking the school district to reconsider… developers who have actually offered to purchase the building and repurpose it would help the community as well as the school district with taxable income, so we’re just asking for them to work with us,” Douglass added.

 It’s not just parents fighting to save the school from the wrecking ball.

 “We are all doing this out of the passion of saving this historic building that is so critical to our community,” said David Emerling, a member of the Keego Harbor Planning Commission.

 Community members were dressed in hazmat suits during the protest.

 “The school district gave the bids for the abatement, and our real concern, that’s why were out here today, is that one of the abatement companies has MI OSHA violations and that’s terrifying for our district especially being so close to our waterways so we’re asking them to be environmentally responsible as well,” Douglass said.

 7 Action News reached out to the West Bloomfield School District but they weren’t available for comment on Sunday.

Community members say they plan on being at the March 18th school district board meeting to continue to plead their case for why the school should be saved.