August 10, 2022

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News Photograph by Crystal Nelson
Alpena General public Educational facilities Superintendent Dave Rabbideau sits on a bench on May well 26 outside Ella White Elementary Faculty.


ALPENA — Alpena Public Colleges owns home officials didn’t even know they experienced, a revelation that could come to be a critical variable as school leaders evaluation district-owned land in an attempt to “right-size” the district to set much more income towards classrooms.

APS officers program to near the building that residences Choice Possibilities for Educational Results Academy and shift that software into Alpena Significant Faculty. Officials also reviewed closing the APS central place of work home and moving people workers elsewhere, and could before long approve a offer to market its bus garage on M-32 in trade for a new transportation facility.

Individuals houses characterize a fraction of the at least 362 acres of assets APS owns in Alpena County, in accordance to a News review of county property documents. More than 1-quarter of that acreage has no framework — no faculty developing, no parking lot, no playground — on it.

When offered with that data, APS Superintendent Dave Rabbideau said district officers did not know they owned some of the assets, this kind of as a strip of land positioned concerning the central business and U.S.-23 South.

Despite the fact that Rabbideau, who took around as superintendent previous fall, reported he does not know the suitable size for the district, he said district officials assess enrollment traits, critique revenues and expenses, and appear at the district’s geographic footprint, which include the district’s buildings and their use.

“The general craze is that college student enrollment in Alpena has been declining for pretty some time, and the district has taken actions along that historical past to close buildings and correct-dimensions the district,” he stated. “And, so, we are just at a level now where we assume we’re quite close to being as effective as we can, but there’s still some minor modifications that could be created, simply because you do not want to go much too modest and then find oneself with rising enrollment and possessing to then go again out and start off constructing.”


APS owns two 40-acre parcels on Extensive Rapids Road at the time applied by the substantial school’s forestry students to discover about forest administration, in accordance to a 2016 forestry management plan commissioned by the district.

Rabbideau claimed the substantial college stopped offering that plan about 12 years in the past, despite the fact that learners nonetheless discover several of the exact same abilities via agriculture classes and Future Farmers of The usa.

Some educational institutions in the district sit on assets extending further than the speedy buildings and playgrounds.

The ACES assets, deemed most marketable by district officials, sits on 20 acres near apartments, senior residing amenities, and health professionals workplaces.

Hinks Elementary School sits on 38 acres stretching from U.S.-23 back to an place regarded colloquially as “the narrows.”

Besser Elementary Faculty sits on 24 acres, and the district owns an further four acres upcoming to the faculty with practically nothing on it.

Sanborn Elementary Faculty sits on a very little over 10 acres, but the district also owns the ballfields future to the college and just about an acre of unused assets behind the ballfields.

The district also owns about 8 acres on Wildcat Court, which the district takes advantage of to instruct college students about construction by building properties on the property that the district then sells.

Though Rabbideau couldn’t say how the district utilized significantly of the assets discovered by The Information, he said he would evaluate that information as portion of his endeavours to correct-dimensions the district.

WHAT APS HAS Offered By now

APS has shut 12 school properties about the final many many years as enrollment progressively declined. Maple Ridge, Sunset, Prolonged Rapids, and Hubbard Lake elementaries closed most lately.

Maple Ridge, Long Rapids, and Hubbard Lake have considering that been sold, when APS nevertheless uses Sunset Elementary for its Alpena Spouse and children Partnership program, which offers elective courses to homeschooled learners. Northeast Michigan Group Service Agency also works by using Sunset for its preschool plan.

Now, district officers have talked about the marketability of the APS central place of work and the Pinecrest Road assets that beforehand housed ACES.

And, working with Grosse Pointe organization Vautgrand Holdings, APS officials strategy to relocate the district’s transportation facility to a place driving the large university, near Wildcat Stadium. The builders would construct a new facility in trade for the latest transportation home at 1357 M-32 W.

Rabbideau explained district officials really don’t approach to close or sell any other properties.

WHAT IS THE Suitable Size?

Spanning extra than 600 square miles, APS is one of the major faculty districts, geographically, in the condition. The district encompasses all of Alpena County and, in Presque Isle County, all of Presque Isle Township and a component of Krakow Township.

APS enrollment has lessened 62% given that it peaked through the 1973-74 school yr, according to knowledge offered by the district. When enrollment falls, schools not only close up with more place, they drop cash wanted to run faculty services, due to the fact most of a district’s spending plan arrives from for every-pupil payments from the state.

Brad Banasik, authorized counsel for the Michigan Association of School Boards, mentioned only a neighborhood school board can make your mind up if building consolidation helps make feeling for their district.

“It genuinely relies upon on the facts and conditions — the dimension of the district, how quite a few students it is missing more than a period of time of time, and whether or not there is a surplus of buildings,” he said.

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