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Proposal could replace Cornell Elementary School in Meridian Township

Proposal could replace Cornell Elementary School in Meridian Township
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 10:19 PM EDT
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OKEMOS, Mich. (WILX) - The beloved Cornell Elementary School might be torn down and a new one could be built on Powell Road.

It’s all part of the bond proposal for the continuing education millage for the Okemos Public Schools. The budget range is up to $270 million, but the district said it comes at a zero mill increase level.

Whether it be social media or talking to people in person, people are split as to whether or not Cornell Elementary School should be closed. Many of the residents like the idea of having a new and even bigger school to account for the growing community, but many aren’t ready to see Cornell go.

“There’s a lot of sentiment involved here,” said Waleign Wagaw. “We moved in because of Cornell a while back.”

Hearing the news about the potential closing of Cornell Elementary School came as a shock to Wagaw, whose children went to the school. He said breaking the news to his now adult children would be difficult, should they decide to shut its doors for good.

“I think they will be sad, frankly speaking,” Wagaw said. “They go out there to visit once in a while -- they volunteer in some of the activities here. So, it will be a shock for them to learn that it will be closing.”

Dan Grady grew up in the Okemos Public School System. He recalled some of the changes made throughout his time there and after he graduated.

“They closed Wardcliff school first, I believe,” Grady said. “Then Edgewood. Then, instead of closing Central School, they started the Okemos Montessori School.”

Grady said with all the changes throughout the years and the potential changes to come, he thinks the district’s enrollment could take a hit.”

“It just seems to be almost making Okemos less of a draw for families to move into,” Grady said.

The school board will be discussing the bond proposal even further at their next meeting on Monday. More information on the Monday meeting can be found on the Okemos Public Schools website here.

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