Thursday, September 23, 2010

Protests against developer plans for Michigan School for the Deaf property


FLINT, Mich. -- Signs of opposition lined the campus of a Flint school Sept. 21.

It was in response to a business proposal that would bring big changes to the Michigan School for the Deaf (pictured) next spring.

The signs are gone now, but they sent a very clear message to people driving along that particular stretch of Miller Road. It tells another school and developer to leave their property alone.

"Don't take away our land." "We love our campus." "Don't demolish the Thelma Heck Building."

No one knows who is responsible for the signs, but they appeared in front of the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint early Tuesday morning.

The meaning? Probably the only clue coming from a sign which reads, "Developers/Powers Go Away."

School officials did not want to comment on the signs, but in a previous interview with ABC12 news, school administrator David Sanderson said the school is talking with Lurvey-White Ventures about a plan to improve the campus and then rent buildings back to another school.

"For now I'm just saying there will be two schools sharing the campus," he said.

It has been reported that school could be Powers Catholic High School, which has been looking to move from its Mount Morris Township location for years.

Powers school officials have said its too early to speculate.

"I think that the school should move because they are losing enrollment," said former Powers parent Janeen Reigle.

Reigle is in full support if Powers decided to move into her Flint neighborhood.

"I think culturally it would be a great experience for the kids, for Michigan School for the Deaf and Powers," she said.

"It can be a win-win for everyone," said Joseph Katrinic, who has been watching the school's plans to move for years.

Katrinic says he's planning to send his 12 year old son to Powers.

"For us it's great," he said. "It'll help the neighborhood. It will bring everything around."

We tried contacting developer Ridgway White. He told ABC12 that he has no comment on the signs.

MSD officials have said if all goes as planned, then the buildings could be ready in two years.