MAPS Vision
for Our Future

Rendering of Exterior of Elementary Building

Manistee Area Public Schools seeks to create secure and efficient 21st century learning facilities supportive of our mission to provide an inclusive, high-quality, diverse educational environment that inspires and fulfills the goals of all learners at every stage of their journey.

A mission which includes community-wide commitment to provide a stable educational foundation, designed to support the needs of our students, families, businesses, and community for generations to come.


Overview of MAPS Vision Plan by Building

In spring 2019, MAPS presented three potential plans to the community and used the feedback received to refine a plan that we believe speaks to the focus of our stakeholders. We have also worked hard over the last several years with our administration and staff to establish guiding principles and define priorities for addressing the emerging needs of our students, all with the goal of building a solid educational foundation for the Manistee Community. The facilities plan chosen addresses this goal by creating efficient and supportive learning environments to create improved standards and meet the needs of our students for many years to come.

In spring of 2020, the bond initiative was paused due to the pandemic.

In fall of 2020, the MAPS Board of Education Facilities Committee met to review the scope of the vision project to ensure that all elements still served the needs of the MAPS District.  Although the scope has not changed, our thinking about the project priorities has been altered.  The circumstances of the pandemic redefined the meaning of “Safe Schools”.  In addition to features such as secure entrances, learning corridor lockdowns, and improved transportation routes, we became more mindful of the importance of modern air quality standards, flexible and adequate learning spaces, and surfaces that can be easily sanitized. 

On May 4th, 2021, Manistee Area Public Schools received support from the community for the MAPS Vision bond proposal.  With the bond passed, the execution of the Vision Plan began. 

In August of 2022, with the architectural plans completed, the project goes to Christman Company for the construction phase of the project. 

Manistee Area Public Schools has outlined a vision for their facilities future.  Learn about the plans by building below.

Rendering of Exterior of Elementary Building

CONSOLIDATED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

PROJECT SCOPE: Renovate and Expand Current Kennedy Elementary Building

  • Demolish 1927 Building
  • Secure visitor entry and check-in
  • Safe and secure academic wings
  • Dedicated bus and parent pick-up/drop-off areas
  • Building designed to meet modern educational standards
  • Consolidated Pre-K-5 Elementary
  • Improved playground areas and equipment
Manistee Gym Floor

AUXILLARY GYM & IMPROVEMENTS at MMHS

PROJECT SCOPE: Safety Improvements, priority renovations, and Middle School dedicated gym

  • Safe and secure access points to academic wings
  • Upgraded interior doors and hardware
  • Middle School gym
  • Improved storage
  • Other identified maintenance priorities

 


The plan for MMHS includes many items that are all part of the capital update schedule to be completed in the near future.

CURRENT GENERAL FUND PROJECTS:

  • Secure entry vestibule
  • Drop-off/pick-up reconfiguration
  • New carpeting
  • Interior finishes
  • Exterior building caulking/sealing

A FUTURE FOR MADISON

PROJECT SCOPE: Community Learning Center & Administrative Offices

The Madison Community Learning Center has been reimagined as resource hub offering innovative programming to meet the educational, health, social, and behavioral needs of our students.

During the construction phase of the consolidated elementary, grades 3 -5 will be attending school at the Madison building. It is anticipated that students will be taught at this location for the 2022/23 & 2023/24 school years.

Following the completion of the consolidated elementary, MAPS administrative offices will be relocated to the Madison building. With minimal space alterations, a new roof, and mechanical updates, Madison will be ready for servicing future programming for student support.

 

  • Minor building renovations to create administrative offices
  • Renovation of toilet rooms
  • Upgrades to mechanicals and electrical
  • Roof Replacement

A FUTURE FOR JEFFERSON

PROJECT SCOPE: Removal of Jefferson Elementary Building & Plan for Future Use of Property

As outlined in the bond scope, the Jefferson Elementary building will be removed and the site will be restored to open green space.  A Board of Education Facilities Committee has worked, with community feedback, to determine how to best utilize this property following the demolition.   A site survey was completed by Spicer Group Inc. to provide greater insight into the boundaries and infrastructure of the property.

Property consideration could include:

  • Green Space
  • Learning Gardens
  • Practice Fields/Courts
  • Park/Playground Area
  • Single Family Housing

Many questions have been asked about the future of the Jefferson property once the building is no longer occupied. You can find answers to the most frequently asked questions on our Vision Progress page.

JEFFERSON NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE COMMUNICATION

In order to provide clarity regarding our communication with the Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee, we are sharing a timeline and related documents summarizing our discussions pertaining to the Jefferson property.

The removal of the Jefferson building and restoration of the land to open green space was the only work specified for that site in the scope of the bond approved on May 4, 2021. In our work with this committee, it was our intention to collect feedback regarding a future for the property. Although a presentation of a proposed park was presented by two committee members, the district did not commit bond nor district funding to any development projects for that site, not prior to nor following the bond vote.

Please know that no final decisions have been made by the Board of Education regarding the future of the Jefferson Elementary property. As of today, the building is planned to stay in service as a learning facility through the next two full school years, allowing us time to make carefully considered decisions.

There are many avenues that will need to be explored while keeping the following in mind:

  • Balancing input from the community with the district’s responsibility to focus financial resources on funding education.
  • The district’s legal and financial responsibilities with the Michigan Department of Treasury relating to the bond.
  • Consideration of funding sources for projects outside use of bond proceeds
    • Building removal
    • Practice fields/tennis courts
    • Park space/learning garden
    • Single-family housing
    • Mixed-use potential
  • Communication with City & County officials to keep a pulse on the needs of the community and potential opportunities to meet those needs.

In an effort to provide transparency, the documentation provided below shows the progression of the communication that occurred during the full duration of our committee contact. Should you have questions regarding this work, or any elements of the bond, please feel free to reach out.

January 7, 2020 - Jefferson Community Forum held to discuss the future of the property

December 17, 2019

Dear Jefferson Families;

As you may be aware, MAPS Board of Education has voted to proceed with a bond proposal for district facilities improvements which will be presented for vote on the May 5, 2020 ballot. In addition to other district improvements, the plan includes renovation and expansion of the Kennedy Elementary building allowing for properly scaled accommodations for our youngest learners and a consolidation of all elementary grades. This plan also tasks us with collaborating to design a new future for the Jefferson Elementary site.

The feedback we have received when presenting the plan has been favorable, but has also prompted many questions about the designation for green space at the Jefferson site. We have learned that our stakeholders desire a more in-depth plan for the future of the Jefferson site. This is where you come in.

We invite you to join us on Tuesday, January 7 at 6:00 pm at Jefferson Elementary. This will be a gathering of Jefferson families and the homeowners of the surrounding neighborhood to talk about potential options for a more definitive plan for this site. We need your input to create a plan that will be best suited for the future of this neighborhood.

Please reach out if I can answer any questions regarding this meeting, the Jefferson site, or the bond proposal. We hope you will lend your voice to this important conversation.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

Link to PDF document of presentation: MAPS2020 JeffersonNeighborPresentation FINAL 1 7 19

January 12, 2020 - MNA Article: MAPS consults Jefferson neighborhood regarding property future
March 11, 2020 – MNA Article: MAPS Board to form Jefferson advisory committee
October 8, 2020 - Board of Education invites community to join Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee

October 8, 2020

Dear MAPS Stakeholder,

In March, the MAPS Board of Education discussed the formation of a committee to assist MAPS Board of Education and Administration in its efforts to ensure that the green space planned at the Jefferson site through the scope of the bond proposal meets the needs and desires of our community.  Although the pandemic put a temporary hold on the bond efforts, the District is committed to the importance of the initiative and will be resuming discussions related to the bond proposal.  

The Jefferson Neighborhood Committee is an important part of these discussions and will allow for community input regarding plans for the designated green space following the removal of the 1954 Jefferson Elementary building as an initiative in the MAPS 2020 millage proposal.

The committee of 6 to 8 members shall include representation from the MAPS Board of Education, Administration, City/County agencies, and Jefferson neighborhood community members who are interested in the exploration of opportunities for the future use of the Jefferson Elementary site.  The Jefferson Neighborhood Committee will serve to advise the MAPS Board of Education.  The committee’s focus areas will include:

  1. Understand the full scope of the MAPS 2020 Vision as it relates to the Jefferson site.
  2. Consider all potential options for the future of the Jefferson Elementary site.
  3. Engage with City and County leaders in conversations regarding how the space can best support the needs of our community.
  4. Make recommendations to the MAPS Board of Education based upon findings.
  5. Implement communications strategies to keep the community informed of developments.

We would like to invite you to join us in serving on this committee.  If you would like be involved, please contact our Central Office before October 12th at 231-723-3521, or email Nancy Day at nday@manistee.org.  The committee selection process will be finalized at the October 14th MAPS Board of Education meeting.  There will then be a MAPS 2020 Community Forum held virtually on October 20th at 7pm to review the scope of the plan as a refresher.  A link to this forum will be posted on the www.MAPS2020.org webpage.  The committee will then formalize a meeting calendar.

We hope to have your voice included in this important conversation.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

November 19, 2020 - Bond Update Community Forum
November 23, 2020 - First meeting of the Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee

Link to recorded meeting: https://youtu.be/70DVK6dxJYo 

November 24, 2020

Dear Jefferson Neighborhood Committee Member;

We want to thank you for your participation with the Jefferson Neighborhood Committee.  Last week, we presented a recap of the project scope, and last night we hosted our first meeting of this committee.  If you were not able to attend one or both of these meetings, we are providing links below to the presentation recordings:

Recap Forum Presentation: https://youtu.be/ckE9VUfN7KY

Jefferson Neighborhood Committee Meeting: https://youtu.be/70DVK6dxJYo

The content of our first meeting focused on:

  • A review of the details of scope of the project.
  • Discussion regarding the future for the Jefferson site with suggestions made including:
    • District retains property as a greenspace for use as a practice field for football and soccer.
    • Creating plan for playground, walking-path, landscaping could allow for a gathering space as an enhancement to the neighborhood and community.
      • Gathering space could also be a trailhead for the County non-motorized trail being planned, could also allow for cross country ski path in winter.
    • Repurpose of Sand’s Park could allow alternative space for the needed practice field that is needed.
    • Parcel of Jefferson site could be subdivided for single-family homes, addressing local housing issues, and adding the tax base.
      • Property is R-2, medium density residential with just over 5 acres available, but could be sold subdivided to avoid any concern regarding a higher density development
      • Cost of building is very high at this time, therefore individual lot sale could be challenging.
    • Develop a plan considering a mix of both greenspace area and single-family lots.
      • An overlay district may be explored as an option to address the unique nature of the possibilities for the site.

If you were unable to attend the meeting or have additional ideas, please reach out to our Central Office to share your thoughts at 231-723-3521, or email Nancy Day at nday@manistee.org.

In the coming days we will be seeking expertise to investigate the possibilities outlined above and will plan our next committee meeting for December.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

 

December 16, 2020 - Meeting of the Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee

December 17, 2020

Dear Jefferson Neighborhood Committee Member;

We want to thank you for your participation with the Jefferson Neighborhood Committee.  Last night, we held a follow up meeting regarding some of the initial ideas of the committee.  Below we are providing a summary of our discussion for those that were unable to be in attendance.

The content of our follow up meeting focused on:

  • Presentation by Mr. Lerum and Dr. Gunderson outlining a greenspace concept to include:
    • Soccer/football practice field
    • Existing playground to remain
    • Paved sidewalk/path around perimeter
    • Relocated/smaller parking area
    • Approximately 1K recreation trail winding through property
    • Low impact/natural pathway plan for reduce maintenance needs
    • Potential future landscape plans
  • Maintenance and ownership discussion:
    • Should the school district maintain this property solely as a greenspace, what would be the financial impact and how could the financial burden be reduced?
    • A low impact plan, maintained by school district could still allow for future development
    • Clarification provided that the bond scope does include the removal of the Jefferson building structures and sitework to create open greenspace
    • Highest and best use of property for the District, neighborhood, and City could be a division of property for the purpose of single-family homesites
  • Property development discussion:
    • Need for single-family home lots and the current climate for housing in Manistee
    • Superintendent Stoneman reached out to District legal counsel
      • District is able to work with the City Zoning Administrator to determine the potential of property division for private sale
      • There are numerous options to consider for property division
      • Controls can be defined in the division property plan to narrow development options
    • Superintendent Stoneman to follow up:
      • Administration and Board discussion regarding future District needs for practice fields and tennis courts and the availability of current property to meet those needs
      • Meeting with Board Facilities Committee and contractors to determine potential site plan options
      • Financial due diligence to support any plan options including current expenditures for site maintenance
      • Potential for Sand’s Park opportunities to meet District needs for practice space

If you were unable to attend the meeting or have additional thoughts or ideas, please reach out to our Central Office to share your thoughts at 231-723-3521, or email Nancy Day at nday@manistee.org

In the coming weeks we will be following through as outlined above and will plan to present an update for our next committee meeting to be scheduled for mid-January.  Again, we thank you for your time and effort in supporting this important work.  We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

 

February 2, 2021 - MAPS provides update to committee regarding property survey

February 2, 2021

Dear Jefferson Neighborhood Committee Member;

We want to thank you for your continued interest and participation in this important committee work.  At our last meeting in December, we discussed an outreach plan and today I am providing an update on that effort.

I have had a conversation with our district’s attorney and have reached out to Spicer Group Inc., a local engineering firm that has done extensive work in Manistee, to obtain a report of baseline information about the Jefferson Elementary property.  Spicer Group will be conducting a boundary survey of the property that will assess location of property lines as well as location of structures, utilities, encumbrances, and easements.  This study will be scheduled to begin in February.

Once we have the results of the study, we will schedule our next committee meeting.  It is our hope that we will have this information to share during the month of February.  Mr. Lerum & Dr. Gunderson have also continued their work in discovering potential greenspace options should it be determined that there could be an appropriate allocation of space for a project of that nature on the Jefferson property.

We look forward to our next discussion and hope that with this new information we can begin to formulate a more comprehensive plan for the future of the Jefferson Elementary property.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

March 12, 2021 - Mailer sent to Manistee households within voting district with bond educational information

PDF version of brochure: DOWNLOAD

 

March 17, 2021 - MNA Article: Questions focus on Jefferson building during MAPS forum Q&A
March 18, 2021 - Meeting of the Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee

Link to recorded meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4ft2XPXRww 

March 22, 2021

Dear Jefferson Neighborhood Committee Member;

We want to thank you for your continued participation with the Jefferson Neighborhood Committee.  On Thursday, March 18th we held a follow up meeting regarding new information we have received regarding future planning for the Jefferson property.  Below we are providing a summary of our discussion for those that were unable to be in attendance.

The content of our follow up meeting focused on:

  • Scope Allowance Development
    • We learned that the allowance for the funds allocated in the proposed bond for the removal of the Jefferson building disallows the sale of the property by the District until the bond has been paid off.
    • This requires a decision of the MAPS Board of Education as to the future of the property:
      • Allow the bond funds to remain allocated to the demolition of the Jefferson building, and plan for long-term use of the property as greenspace/practice fields.
      • Pay for the demolition of the building using District General Funds in order to allow for the sale, or mixed use, of the property after removal of the building.
      • Discussion related to this decision will be on the agenda for the Board Work Study to be held on Wednesday, March 21 @ 7pm. District’s attorney will be on-hand to provide insight to the Board in support of this discussion.
    • Presentation by Mr. Lerum and Dr. Gunderson outlining a greenspace concept to include:
      • Soccer/football practice fields
      • Tennis/pickle ball courts
      • Mowed 8’ recreation trail winding through property
      • Existing playground to remain
      • Parking area to remain
      • Potential horticulture garden/landscape areas
    • Presentation by representative of Spicer Group Inc. regarding preliminary findings of the property survey to gain greater insight into the boundaries and infrastructure of the property.
      • A full report will be provided once title work is complete.

A Board decision will be required before any further discussion can be had by this committee regarding a potential future for the property.  The March 21st Board Work Study is for the purposes of discussion, a decision may be considered at the April Board Meeting to be held on Wednesday, April 14 @ 7pm.  The next meeting of the Jefferson Neighborhood Committee will be held on Thursday, April 15 @ 6pm.  At this time, we will plan to hold this meeting via Zoom link provided below.  Should conditions allow, we may be able to meet onsite.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/99925510411?pwd=TkNmNE50ck1IK3p1YVpqUkZUTmU5QT09

Meeting ID: 999 2551 0411
Passcode: 1512yq

If you were unable to attend the meeting and/or have additional questions or thoughts, please reach out to our Central Office at 231-723-3521, or email Nancy Day at nday@manistee.org.  Again, we thank you for your time and effort in supporting this important work.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

April 15, 2021 - Meeting of the Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee

Link to recorded meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsduosUAArg

April 15, 2021

Dear Jefferson Neighborhood Committee Member;

At our last meeting on Thursday, April 15th we gathered for an update regarding the current status of green space planning for the Jefferson Elementary property following Board of Education discussion at the March work study session.  Below we are providing a summary of our discussion for those that were unable to be in attendance.

The content of our follow up meeting focused on:

  • Planning Status
    • Review: The allowance for the funds allocated in the proposed bond for the removal of the Jefferson building disallows the sale of the property (previously occupied by the building) by the District until the bond has been paid off.
    • A commitment was made by the MAPS Board of Education for the proposed bond funds to remain allocated to the demolition of the Jefferson building and restoration to open green space.
    • Should the bond pass, planning would continue for the long-term use of the property considering some potential purposes:
      • Green space/practice fields needed for athletics
      • Tennis courts to support tournament play in Manistee
      • Landscape design for learning gardens
      • City of Manistee collaboration to optimizing park space, including discussion regarding Sands Park
      • Manistee County Recreation Plan and Manistee Recreation Association supportive opportunities
      • Single family housing on qualified portion of property
    • A full report is still anticipated from Spicer Group once title work is complete.
    • Question was posed regarding ability to place funds in escrow should a sale of the property be considered. This question will be referred to District’s legal counsel.

The next phase of our planning efforts will follow the passing of the bond.  We are hopeful that our community has an understanding of the value of the project scope will vote on May 4th.  The time and energy devoted to this effort by the members of this committee is recognized by the Board of Education.  Your work is invaluable to understanding the desires of the community and asks that your stay engaged in this work as we move forward.

If have questions or thoughts to share, please reach out to our Central Office at 231-723-3521, or email Nancy Day at nday@manistee.org.  Again, we thank you for your time and effort in supporting this important work.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

April 20, 2021 – MNA Article: Jefferson Neighborhood Committee to assist MAPS with property visioning
May 2021 - Bond vote passes and MAPS begins sale of bond process and design development with A&E contractors
January 24, 2022 - Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee notified of contact with Manistee County Land Bank Authority

January 24, 2022

Dear Committee Members,

We would like to provide an update on the MAPS Vision Project for all of you that had participated in the important work of the Jefferson Neighborhood Committee. Our meetings continue with the architectural and engineering team.  Although the scope of the MAPS Vision Plan is largely unchanged, some building modifications have been necessary in order to meet the parameters of our project budget.  Through professional guidance, we believe we have arrived at an equitable plan that will meet the needs of our staff and students now and well into the future. 

Throughout the process, MAPS staff representatives have been providing practical insights and providing valuable feedback regarding the workflow of our learning spaces.  We are now in the process of finalizing finishes and selecting furnishings. We anticipate that the finalized schematics will be ready in the summer months, and for the first construction projects to begin in the fall of 2022. 

In addition to working through the design process, we have also continued our work to determine a future for the Jefferson Elementary property. We have had an initial discussion with Rachel Nelson of the Manistee County Land Bank Authority to share our vision for this property. She has provided some insight regarding the options available for our district to work with the Land Bank toward creating a solution conducive to the needs and desires of the community.

We would like to schedule a meeting with the members of the Jefferson Neighborhood Committee to provide an understanding of what we have learned from the Land Bank and can plan a future meeting to include Rachel to further discuss our options for developing the plan that will follow the demolition of the building.

We are planning a Zoom meeting for Monday, February 7 at 5:30 pm. We hope you are able to be a part of this discussion.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

February 7, 2022 - Meeting of the Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee

February 8, 2022

Dear Committee Members,

Last evening, we provided an update on the MAPS Vision Project for the Jefferson Neighborhood Committee. We reviewed the updated project timeline, reported on our conversation with Rachel Nelson of the Manistee County Land Bank Authority, and discussed potential avenues for moving forward. Below are the highlights:

  • The timeline indicates the construction of our bond project to begin in the fall of 2022 and for the Jefferson building to remain in service until the spring of 2025. The project milestones can be viewed on an updated timeline presented on our website at: https://chipslead.org/project/maps_vision_progress/
  • We have received insight regarding the options available for our district to work with the Land Bank toward creating a solution conducive to the needs and desires of the community.
  • Collaboration with local and state agencies could provide potential expansion of funding and use options for this property.
  • Even through collaboration, we can provide assurances of the demolition of the Jefferson building within the timeline of the bond project and our ability to define deed restrictions to protect the intended use of the property.
  • We would like to have 2 or 3 Jefferson Neighborhood Committee members join us for our next meeting with the Land Bank and are inviting committee members to express interest in representing the committee in this effort. If you are interested, please send an email to: nday@manistee.org, sharing your rational for inclusion in this subcommittee by end of day Friday, February, 11th.
  • We will continue our work with you in seeking potential opportunities for this property and all options will be presented to the MAPS Board of Education for final decision making.

Our focus remains on establishing a shared goal of working with the community to create the best possible option for this property. We will continue to provide updates and opportunities for the full committee to meet and discuss the progress of this work.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

 

March 1, 2022 - Notification to Jefferson neighborhood Advisory Committee of sub-committee selection

March 1, 2022

Dear Committee Member,

Thank you to everyone that showed interest in serving on our Jefferson Neighborhood Sub-Committee to explore land use opportunities for the Jefferson property. We had a lot of interest in this sub-committee and have selected 3 individuals to serve:

  • Randy Zakrajsek
  • Paul Gunderson, MD
  • Mick Szymanski

In our first sub-committee meeting, we will be sharing information from our district counsel from Thrun Law Firm. They are providing insight regarding our options for deed restrictions related to the potential future use of the property and context related to parameters outlined by the Manistee County Land Bank Authority. This will be an important first step for providing the sub-committee members with a greater understanding of our options prior to setting up a meeting with Rachel Nelson of the Land Bank.

We will be recording sub-committee meeting minutes and sharing them with the full Jefferson Neighborhood Committee. We remain committed to establishing a shared goal for the community focused on creating the best possible option for this property.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

 

 

March 28, 2022 - Notification to Jefferson neighborhood Advisory Committee of sub-committee meeting

Link to recorded meeting on 2/22/22: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1986_U5Y8B8

Link to recorded meeting 3/14/22: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgLeKbMRptk 

March 28, 2022

Dear Committee Member,

Today, we are providing an update on the work of the subcommittee assigned to continuing the conversation regarding future uses for the Jefferson property.  The committee has met twice, the first meeting to discuss the potential of deed restrictions, and the second to discuss these considerations with representatives of the Manistee County Land Bank Authority.

With Randy’s assistance, we reviewed R1 & R2 single family home zoning requirements and are now familiar with the following:

R1 Required Minimums (zone adjacent to the Jefferson property):

  • 15,000 sq. ft. lot size
  • 100 ft. lot width
  • 1,500 sq. ft. single family home size

R2 Required Minimums (zone of the Jefferson property):

  • 6,000 sq. ft. lot size
  • 60 ft. lot width
  • 960 sq. ft. single family home size

In interest of maintaining the character of the existing single family home environment with similar density of lot sizes, the sub-committee discussed the following for the Jefferson property as proposed restrictions:

  • 10,000 sq. ft. lot size
  • 80 ft. lot width
  • 1,200 sq. ft. single family home size

In addition to the above, the committee also explored:

  • Definition of Standards of Construction, ie: basement vs. crawl space, manufactured vs. modular
  • Potential rental parameters
  • Interim maintenance of property
  • Potential need for district buy-back should the property not sell
  • Board of Education control of any easing of restrictions

In the Land Bank meeting held March 23rd with Rachel Nelson and Tamara Buswinka, the sub-committee shared their thoughts regarding potential deed restrictions, which were met with acceptance from the Land Bank.  The representatives of the Land Bank were appreciative of the work that the greater Jefferson Neighborhood Committee has already done and expressed their desire to continue these community discussions, should the Board of Education decide to partner with the Land Bank Authority for the sale of the Jefferson property. In this meeting we also discussed:

  • Eligibility and benefits of Brownfield Funding and Tax Increment Financing
  • Land Bank absorbing cost of building demolition and pre-development costs
  • Land Bank objectives for neighborhood revitalization
  • Process for community input on Land Bank held properties
  • Conceptual plan development mechanisms

A meeting will be held in the coming days with the Board of Education Facilities Committee to bring them up to date on the discussions that have occurred. This will help to gauge the interest of the Board in a potential partnership with the Land Bank. With that understanding, a meeting will be scheduled for the Land Bank to present to the entire Jefferson Neighborhood Committee regarding their process following a potential acquisition of the property and answer any questions for the members of our committee.

The Land Bank Authority has shared their interest in the development of a respectful and collaborative plan supportive of the interests of our neighborhood, community, and municipality. Their knowledge and experience in creating pathways for equitable property development for our community could provide a valuable partnership as we seek a future plan for the property.

We thank you for your continued interest in this project and will keep you posted regarding upcoming meeting dates.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

 

April 7, 2022 - Notification to Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee

April 7, 2022

Dear Jefferson Neighborhood Committee Member,

It is my understanding that there may be some concern regarding our latest committee update. I would like to provide some clarity regarding what has transpired in the bond process since last spring.

In discussions with this committee, together we learned about the vision of the neighborhood for potential future uses of the Jefferson property, restrictions of the use of treasury funds, the role of the district in managing vacated school properties, and the needs of the greater community. Although the language for this work evolved through this process, leading up to the vote, the following narrative was used to frame the impact the bond would have on the Jefferson property:

Repurpose Jefferson Elementary Site, with guidance from the Jefferson Neighborhood Advisory Committee:

  • Demolish 1954 Jefferson Elementary building
  • Green space, residential home sites, and MAPS athletic field considerations are all in discussion with the committee

Following the passage of the bond last May, the district then began work on the sale of the bond and attended numerous project design meetings with the Architecture & Engineering team.  Through this process, and due to current supply and construction industry conditions, it became clear that some concessions would need to be made.  With our contractors, we have worked to identify alterations that would allow for an equitable plan for saving the money needed to address these concessions, while maintaining the integrity of the project.

In November, I was contacted by Rachel Nelson of the Manistee County Land Bank Authority. She expressed interest in meeting with the district to discuss the role of the Land Bank in property acquisition and infrastructure preparation for potential property development. Once we had a base understanding of the opportunity, we engaged this committee to be a part of our learning process with the Land Bank.

At this point, we have a meeting scheduled with the Board of Education’s Facilities Committee to bring them up to date on the most recent developments. At this meeting we intend to discuss all potential options that have been considered for the property, which includes the proposed park space voluntarily designed by Dr. Gunderson and Mr. Lerum, as well as the parameters we shared with you regarding a potential partnership with the Land Bank.

The Board Facilities Committee is responsible for sharing information and recommendations with the full Board of Education regarding any facilities projects or concerns. At the next Board of Education meeting, to be held on April 13th, the Board Facilities Committee will be providing an update to the full Board regarding the future of the Jefferson property.

Through this process we will maintain our commitment to communication with the Jefferson Neighborhood stakeholders. As Rachel Nelson had explained, the Land Bank makes community input a priority in the work that they do in communities they serve. Therefore, we are engaging Ms. Nelson to be a part of a Jefferson Neighborhood meeting. All neighbors will be invited to attend a presentation to learn about where we are in the process and will have an opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings, and any concerns they may have regarding the future use of the property. Additional details regarding this meeting will be forthcoming as soon as we are able to make all needed arrangements.

Please know that no final decisions have been made regarding the future of the Jefferson Elementary property. As of today, the building is planned to stay in service as a learning facility through the next two full school years, allowing us time to make carefully considered decisions.

We look forward to having an opportunity to share the work of this committee and to present the information we have gathered with all of your neighbors. In the meantime, please reach out to me should you have any concerns regarding this work.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

April 12, 2022 – MNA Article: Manistee Area Public Schools explores options for Jefferson property
April 15, 2022 – MNS Article: MAPS planning community forum to discuss future of Jefferson property
April 29, 2022 – MNA Article: MAPS to hold presentation, answer questions regarding Jefferson school property
May 4, 2022 - MAPS holds Jefferson Neighborhood Community Forum discussion
May 6, 2022 - MAPS update to Jefferson neighbors

May 6, 2022

Dear Jefferson Neighbor,

Thank you for your interest in the future of the Jefferson Elementary property.  As we had hoped, the forum last evening provided an opportunity for two-way conversation with our neighbors regarding the current status of the Jefferson property. For anyone that was unable to be in attendance, we are providing a link to the presentation recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhobLdgEJlE For those of you that had requested a review of the May 4, 2021 bond language, it can be found near the top of the page following this link: https://chipslead.org/maps-2020/

We want to thank those of you that were in attendance at the meeting. We value your thoughts and concerns and will consider your feedback as we continue the work in determining a future for the property.  We also thank Rachel Nelson, Manistee County Treasurer, and Bill Gambill, City Manager, and Karen Goodman, County Commissioner, for being available to answer questions.

We would like to clarify that a decision regarding the future of the Jefferson property has not been made by the Board of Education. There are many avenues that will need to be explored while keeping the following in mind:

  • Balancing input from the community with the district’s responsibility to focus financial resources on funding education.
  • The district’s legal and financial responsibilities with the Michigan Department of Treasury relating to the bond.
  • Consideration of funding sources for projects outside use of bond proceeds
  • Building removal
  • Practice fields/tennis courts
  • Park space/learning garden
  • Single-family housing
  • Mixed-use potential
  • Collaborations with City & County officials to keep a pulse on the needs of the community and potential opportunities to meet those needs.

Please know that no final decisions have been made by the Board of Education regarding the future of the Jefferson Elementary property. As of today, the building is planned to stay in service as a learning facility through the next two full school years, allowing us time to make carefully considered decisions.

I am available to answer any questions you may have. You have been added to an email list that we will retain for the purpose of providing continual updates. We will be planning future opportunities for discussion and will be notifying you via email.

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools

May 6, 2022 – MNA Article: Housing development on Jefferson school property not ‘set in stone’
June-August 2022 - MAPS Board of Education reviews options currently presented for Jefferson property

JEFFERSON ELEMENTARY PROPERTY OPTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION

OPTION #1

Use allocated bond funds to demolish the building and clear the land

Pros:

  • Bond funds have been allocated for the demolition of the building and clearing of the land
  • District retains property for future needs
  • Jefferson neighborhood stakeholders able to provide feedback for the future of this property
  • Community stakeholders could seek grant funding for development of park/green space project should that be the desire of the neighborhood
  • Area outside of the footprint of the building removal could be subdivided for sale
  • District would receive proceeds from the property able to be sold to fund educational project priorities

Cons:

  • District would be required to retain the footprint of the structure removed using bond dollars until that portion of the bond has been paid off. 
  • District would be responsible for the maintenance and liability for the property until it could be sold for future use.
  • District general funds or alternative funding would be required for any infrastructure development of the property, such as play fields, parking lot improvements, fencing, playground equipment, landscaping.
  • Dividing the land may make sale more difficult

Cost to District: 

  • Approximately $400,000 is allocated for the removal of the Jefferson building within the scope of the bond. 
  • District would incur expense of insuring and maintaining the property until the property could be sold for another purpose
  • Any infrastructure development would need to come from the general fund or alternative funding sources
  • District would be responsible for the expense of subdividing/selling property

 

OPTION #2

Use general fund dollars to demolish the building and clear the land

Pros:

  • Restrictions for land use would no longer be an issue
  • Jefferson neighborhood stakeholders able to provide feedback for the future of this property
  • District could sell the land for the purpose of property development to any project/person/company able to fund the purchase for purposes such as:
    • Maintaining open property
    • Single-family home development
    • Park/garden project
    • Mixed-use development
  • Board of Education would be able to sanction deed restrictions to ensure property development retains character of the neighborhood
  • District would receive proceeds from the sale of the property to fund educational project priorities

Cons:

  • General fund dollars directed to this project take away that funding from educational priorities
  • Additional district funds would need to be allocated for any infrastructure development and maintenance should the district retain all or part of the property
  • District cannot act as developer; property would have to be sold or maintained by district
  • Fewer funding options would exist for potential developers making the property less desirable for development

Cost to District: 

  • Approximately $400,000
  • Cost of any infrastructure or maintenance while still owned by district
  • Any infrastructure development would need to come from the general fund or alternative funding sources
  • District would be responsible for the expense of subdividing/selling property

 

OPTION #3

Release the property to the County Land Bank Authority 

Pros:

  • District could redirect $400,000 in bond allocations to education focused project priorities
  • Reduces financial burden to district for maintenance and liability of property
  • Brownfield opportunity may exist for County Land Bank to fund demolition of the Jefferson building
  • Board of Education would be able to sanction deed restrictions to ensure property development retains character of the neighborhood
  • Collaboration with local and state agencies may provide potential expansion of funding options to secure viable development projects
  • The County Land Bank is committed to working with us and Jefferson neighborhood stakeholders to determine a shared goal for the future of this property
  • New single-family housing development could add to the tax base
  • Move-in ready homes could be supportive of community need for the attraction of teachers, nurses, business owners, and service providers

Cons:

  • Public concern regarding County Land Bank project development
  • District does not receive proceeds from the sale of the property

Cost to District:

  • District would not incur cost for the demolition of the building or site work
  • The district would no longer incur maintenance or liability costs once the County Land Bank has possession
August 10, 2022 - The MAPS Board of Education Facilities Committee made the recommendation not to pursue the Land Bank option at this time.
August 24, 2022 - MAPS Board of Education discusses establishing value of Jefferson property and consultation with District’s attorney to understand the process for future release or sale of property.

Need More Information?

Location: 550 Maple St, Manistee, MI 49660 | Map
Telephone:
231-723-3521
Central Office Hours:
M-F: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Superintendent: Ron Stoneman
Email: rstoneman@manistee.org