Glenn Public Schools-Glenn, Michigan
Glenn Public School (GPS) may be Michigan's oldest continuous rural school district since its establishment in 1854, but the small educational facility is undergoing a big transformation.
The 166-year-old, 4,400 square-foot, three-room schoolhouse, with its traditional red brick and white-trimmed windows, provides learning opportunities for its K-5 student body of 41 pupils. GPS hoped to find an economically feasible way to expand their programming while honoring the school's history and mission to "engage and inspire young people to become lifelong learners that carry on a deep relationship with their ecosystem." The District selected the Wightman Architectural Studio to develop a feasibility study to identify potential expansion options.
Following discussions with school and community stakeholders, a survey was created to identify key strategic goals. Once the data from the survey was compiled, the GPS Board of Education approved a $350,000 construction budget for a 1,190 square-foot addition which meets the five key programming goals for the proposed school expansion: creation of a multi-purpose room, new front office and secure entry vestibule, an identifiable main entry to the school, an outdoor classroom, and a greenhouse learning center.
Utilization of the completed feasibility study helped inform the Bond Campaign, which was ultimately approved by over 76% of the popular vote in March 2020. The District will begin construction this fall and open the addition in 2021.
Additionally, during the initial stages of the feasibility study, the District had the opportunity to apply for a Michigan State Police Safety Grant. Wightman, collaborating with GPS, quickly responded to support the grant writing effort, which resulted in the District being awarded a $48,000 grant to improve school safety and security by replacing and upgrading doors and security hardware.
Both projects will help the Glenn Public School enhance safety, provide new indoor and outdoor learning spaces, and maintain the historical presence of the school in the community, transforming both the District and its students for years to come.