SAGINAW (WJRT) (02/19/2020) - It's official: a brand new school is on the way to downtown Saginaw.
The decision is part of a plan to help revitalize the shrinking district. Not only did all seven members vote in favor of consolidation, but as soon as it was approved, the entire room filled with applause.
One community member said, "We understand that change is hard. However, we believe that this proposed strategic plan offers the changes that are needed."
The 5-year strategic plan will address infrastructure, enrollment, and programming, hoping to completely transform the district.
"Yes we are shooting for the sun. I'm not going to shoot for anything else less than that, and I think this board stands together with that plan of action, and we're going to what we have to do in order to make it happen," board trustee Joyce Seals said.
The plan is to build a state-of-the-art high school where the Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy stands now, with more rigorous curriculum and more course offerings for students .
That same plan also includes demolishing most of Saginaw High and Arthur Hills High in June 2023, where students have been making memories for several decades.
"As a proud graduate of Saginaw High School, the thought of my school closing is difficult. In making long-term decisions, it is sometimes necessary to place our personal feelings aside and decide what is best for everyone involved. This is that kind of a decision," board Vice President Charles Coleman said.
Coleman wasn't the only alumni with Trojan pride. One alum, Audrey Beatty, says she graduated from Saginaw High in the 1950s, and is concerned the plan doesn't focus enough on the quality of education.
"You can have the most beautiful of buildings. Give me some quality teachers. The curriculum and their ability to convey that curriculum. They got to get some people that relate to the population of these students," Beatty said.
After the meeting, Superintendent Roberts says the next step is planning for a bond they hope to get on the November ballot.