FLINT (WJRT) - (12/21/2017) - The Flint Board of Education is ordering Superintendent Bilal Tawwab to come up with a plan to close Northwestern High School at the end of the school year next spring.
Board members say the closure is part of the district's recent deficit elimination plan, as well as its long-term financial plan.
Northwestern has been plagued in recent years with declining enrollment and building problems. Students often complain of being too cold in the winter and hot in the summer, along with serious roof leaks.
"I love that school," said Delois Neely, who graduated from Northwestern.
"I hate it because they've already go enough schools closing up. So that's going to be really bad," said Erika Stocker.
The board ordered Superintendent Tawwab to develop a plan for the closure and transition of students and staff. It's also focused on the relocation of the school's educational programs.
Jeff Grayer, a Northwestern graduate and former Flint school board member, said the impending closure is based on the building's age and declining enrollment.
"You're losing a lot of dollars because of the fact that enrollment is down," he said. "And so, we have to make those tough decisions while understanding it's sad because this is a day none of us thought would come to be."
School board president Harold Woodson had no comment on the board's decision.
Tawwab's proposed plan to move programs out of Northwestern would still need to be approved by the school board before the closure becomes official. There was no immediate word on where students would be moved.
When Northwestern closes, Flint Community Schools would be left with a single high school campus at Southwestern when the next school year begins in the fall of 2018.