Demolition crews began tear down of Clark School in Flint - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Demolition crews began tear down of Clark School in Flint

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FLINT (WJRT) - (07/02/14) - Demolition crews began to tear down the former Clark School, in Flint, Wednesday morning.

It will be two days before it's all complete.

The building couldn't come down soon enough for those working to clean up this city, but for some, the old Flint school is a piece of their past and a place that still holds memories.

"It was a great school...good times...a lot of friends," said Lloyd Thomas, of Flint.

Recalling memories, decades old, pulled from the back of his mind. Thomas still knows the school like the back of his hand. He attended kindergarten here in 1954.

"Hard to see it go," he said.

But even he knows it was time. State funding to clean up blight in Genesee County made the demolition of this building and around 20 other commercial properties possible.

"It needs to come down, it will be safer for the neighborhood," said Deb Cherry, Genesee County Treasurer.

The old Flint school has sat vacant for five years, harboring crime, while the walls literally cave in.

The school will cost more than $400,000 to tear down over two days, making way for green space and future development. It's just a small chunk of the Michigan Blight Elimination Grant funds that the land bank is putting to good use this year.

"You know the money that we got from the blight elimination grant has helped us to do so much in the city of Flint and this is one of those examples. We're really excited to see this move on and then we'll have some green space and it will look better and be good for the neighborhood," Cherry said.

Demolishing the past, to make way for the future - a necessary path.

"Without a doubt. It was very dangerous. A lot of homeless people stayed in it. They made a couple of videos in it last year. Lucky someone didn't get hurt. But it's time for it to come down, new future," Thomas said.

It could be a month before the property is completely cleaned up.

This building is just one of 1,600 blighted homes and buildings in Flint that will be part of a "new future", scheduled for demolition over the next nine months.
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