College Accepting Proposals for School Building Development
Old neighbors may forge a new relationship as Albion College has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for development of the Washington Gardner School building, located two blocks west of Wesley Hall on Michigan Avenue. Albion acquired the building from Albion Public Schools in December 2011, after it was taken out of service by the district in 2010.
According to Auxiliary Services Director Todd Tekiele, the College is seeking creative and economically viable proposals for revitalizing the building "in a manner compatible with College and community goals." To that end, a number of Great Lakes area developers have been invited to submit ideas for renovating the space. Several legislators were also asked to share the RFP with constituents suitable for a college-community partnership.
Tekiele noted that in the event no suitable use can be found for the building, the College may convert the property to green space.
The building opened in 1906 as a high school, later housing school district offices, the Open School and Albion's middle school. In 1927, it was named for Washington Gardner, a professor at Albion College who served as Michigan's secretary of state (1894-99) and as a six-term congressman for Michigan's Third District (1899-1911).