Historic local school demolished - WSMV Channel 4

Historic local school faces wrecking ball

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Crews demolish Breckenridge West Elementary School on Monday. Crews demolish Breckenridge West Elementary School on Monday.
GRATIOT COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Monday marked the end of an era for a local community.

Breckenridge West Elementary School is being demolished. Former students like Paul Bush don't want to see it go, but say it's time to move on.

"It needed to come down," commented Bush as he looked on.

The oldest part of the Gratiot County school dates back to the early 1900s. The building hasn't been used for nearly four years after administrators determined it wasn't safe for students to be inside.

"The roof was leaking. There were some things we were not able to update. It was becoming older and more costly to keep up," said Sean McNatt, superintendent of Breckenridge Community Schools.

McNatt also said several items will be salvaged in the demolition including a corner stone dating back to 1936 and a time capsule rumored to be buried beneath it.

"We're going to see what artifacts are in there. We also have preserved some of the artifacts, cabinets, some of the old lockers to our Breckenridge historical society," he added.

In about three weeks there will be no sign of the old school. But Bush says it's a chance for the community to begin a new chapter.

"Something's got to come down, so something new can come in."

Residents in the district voted last fall to pay for the demolition through a school bond. The superintendent says once the school is gone, the long-term plan is to build a community center in its place.

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