Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kosciusko Plans Announced

I have discussed the efforts to bring the long shuttered Kosciusko Elementary School (20220 Tireman St.) back as a community center several times on this blog. The Detroit Community Design Center, which is operated by the University of Michigan, has worked with neighborhood residents to develop a community-driven plan for the adaptive reuse of that building. They presented their plans last week; I was fortunate enough to attend said presentation.

Model of a Redeveloped Kosciusko
I want to give everyone a quick recap of the plans, starting with the exterior. Much of the grounds behind Kosciusko are envisioned as a sports fields for football, soccer, etc. There will also be a community garden with raised beds to accommodate the handicapped.

These plans also envision bike and walking paths on the property. This will be connected to the GreenWays Initiative, which seeks to connect people, communities, and nature throughout southeastern Michigan.

There will also be a separate play area for the child care center. This will enable children at the center to play outdoors, while also allowing the staff to supervise them.

Moving to the interior, their plans call for a multitude of services on the first and second floors of this historic building. Each of these items was brought into the plan after a series of meetings with neighborhood residents and stakeholders to identify the needs in Warrendale.

The child care center will operate on the first floor. It will also have a separate entrance for maximum security.

Also on the first floor, some of the former classrooms will be converted into business incubator space. There will also be a special event space in the former auditorium as well as a cafe nearby.

Up on the second floor, the plans envision counseling services for at-risk youth. They also call for a media center, which will be complete with a recording studio.

The entire project is expected to cost approximately $7 million. Since this building is on the National Register of Historic Places, there are a series of state and federal tax credits that will cover a portion of that amount.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Kosciusko project, please feel to contact me at frank [dot] nemecek [at] gmail [dot] com. As always, more details will be posted on this blog as they develop.

Update @ 10:50 a.m. on July 30, 2010
I originally wasn't going to show any of the video clips that I recorded at this presentation. The fact of that matter is that I botched the job with both bad audio and bad video.

Regardless, there were at least a few people who wanted to see it. Therefore, without further ado, I give you my botched clips from the Kosciusko presentation.

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