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Sherman Lifelong Learning Center razed, plans for property discussed

by Susan Bromley

November 20, 2013

Ortonville- As it turns out, the Sherman Lifelong Learning Center didn't quite live up to its name.

The former Brandon School District building, located on Sherman Court in the village, was demolished this past week.

"We are going to turn the property back to green space and work with the village on what is next," said District Superintendent Lorrie McMahon. "We own the property and plan to keep it that way til we work with the village and see what their plans are. We may retain it, we may sell it to them."

The roughly 50-year-old building was demolished by R & R Earthmovers of Ortonville at a cost to the district of $47,027. Prior to the demolition, the district had asbestos abatement done to the building at a cost of $28,000.

The building has sat vacant for the last few years. After Oakwood Elementary was built, both the alternative high school and district preschool classes were moved from the Sherman building to the former H.T. Burt Elementary. The district attempted to sell the Sherman building, but multiple deals fell through, some due to a lack of sewers in the village. A recent offer to buy the property and use it for a proposed charter school was declined by the district, with McMahon citing the building as unsafe for children.

Village Manager John Lyons said he would like to talk to the district about potential plans for the land.

"They would like community use and so would we," he said. "If we get it, we can control development. One of the things it could be is a park, but we have no plans for anything, it's all premature."

The property is located on a residential street. Lyons has suggested the property could be included in a discussion of non-motorized trails in the village. A village planning commission meeting, at which a trail system will be discussed, is planned for 6:30 p.m., Dec. 3, at the village offices, 476 Mill St.

Lyons said a trail system is part of the village's master plan and could include the village property that encompasses 47 acres behind the village offices, south to Granger Road and east to Crescent Hill. A recreation plan including the non-motorized pathway is necessary and must be turned in by April to the state and approved before the village could apply for any grant funds.