Could There Be New Life for Abandoned Flint Central HS?
Since the last day of classes on June 11, 2009, Flint Central High School has sat silently decaying. The victim of vandals and simply being forgotten, the building and campus surrounding it has left the community and alumnae of the the schools saddened to see it "fall".
Now, there may be a chance for rebirth with renewed interest in the property and the building itself. The Flint School District has seen interest from a development firm, informally known as the Harvard Group, looking to possibly re-purpose and restore the Central High School-Whittier Classical Academy campus.
According to a story by Flint Beat, Ian Shetron, a Flushing native, with two of hi s colleagues are spearheading the potential project. Their goal is adaptative reuse, the process of reusing an existing building for a purpose other than originally intended. Shetron told Flint Beat,
“We’ve modeled the site as a mixed-use redevelopment. So, it’s got residential and commercial capability… It’s a beautiful, historically significant structure or structures, I should say…They’re architecturally significant [and] frankly they’re Flint landmarks. And part of this project is being able to say that we preserved these landmarks".
Although not decisions have been officially made, any form of salvaging the historic site would be welcomed news to resident in the area and those who attended Flint Central and value the impact the school had on the Flint community.
Gary Fisher, a 1983 graduate and Flint historian, mentioned how the current condition of the school is upsetting.
"I see it and I feel depression, sadness, and anger. As a Flint native, you ask yourself why? How could this happen."
Fisher goes on the mention the historical value the school has to offer from its notable graduates such as Billy Durant, co-founder of General Motors, famous aerospace engineer Clarence (Kelly) Johnson, Senator Donald Riegle, and a vast array of distinguishing collegiate and professional athletes.
"The history of the graduates is incredible," Fisher comments. "As a graduate, you hate to see your past destroyed like this".
It's estimated that at its height of enrollment the school, built in 1923, had almost 4000 students.
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