As Charles L. Seipelt & Boyd E. Smith elementary students wrap up the school year, they are also saying goodbye to the buildings they have called “school home” for up to 7 years. Both elementaries are being replaced with new buildings, which will open in August for the 2016-17 school year.
To say goodbye, students were asked to write and draw their sentiments on the walls of the buildings, allowing those messages to seep into the very bricks that have housed them. At Boyd, students even wrote on the walls outside; at Seipelt, the large expanse of outdoor brick became a canvas to teach students about artist Jackson Pollock as they used water-based paint to explore abstract expressionism.
Boyd is being replaced just behind the current building, on the same piece of land, so students are familiar with the landscape and location. The old school will be demolished and students will start in the new school in August.
Seipelt students, however, will return to school appr. 2 miles down the road from their current location. A previous board and administration had purchased land off Rt. 131 next to the Greystone subdivision for the new Seipelt. After an extensive analysis, a more recent BAC, board and administration determined moving the school to the new land would save taxpayers over $1 million – much more than the land would generate if sold.
The current Seipelt building will also be demolished, and that land transferred to Miami Township for recreational purposes. No reasonable offer was made for the existing building or land, and Miami Township was anxious to take ownership of the parcel. The district is “selling” the land to Miami Township for $1, in exchange for the significant financial support they have provided in other ways and for the hundreds of thousands of dollars they are investing for lane widening for the two new elementaries.