As North goes south, Part 2

NorthSchool1As a follow-up, I received this note today from Kristin Knoll at Covenant, offering an opportunity for people to get a brick from the building. Demolition will begin Monday, March 17.

I’ll check with her on the chances of salvaging some of the decorative stonework.

North School Mementos and Exhibit Available to the Community

Covenant HealthCare and the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History recognize the former North School building is a part of many Saginaw citizens’ past and want to offer the community a way to remember their experiences after the building is gone.

Beginning Tuesday, March 18 at the Castle Museum a mini exhibit of North School will be displayed for the community to experience. While at the exhibit, visitors can also pick up a brick from the former North School building as a memento. Limit one brick per person.

“We know a number of former students, teachers, neighbors, and community members are interested in paying tribute to their former school,” says Jeff Berger, Director of Facilities Services at Covenant. “Covenant and the Castle Museum wanted to provide a place for them to do so.”

Visitors will be able to see several salvaged artifacts including a plaster statue of Abraham Lincoln that North School students purchased in 1926 as a tribute to the late president. Also on display will be some major sports items that will eventually have a prominent place in the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame exhibit at the Castle. In addition, visitors will be able to write down memories of the former school in a book kept at the Castle.

Jack B. Tany, president of the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame, stated “We retrieved both glass basketball backboards and rims as well as the scoreboard. Additionally, we had several people who worked about three hours to cut out a 12’ x 12’ section of the basketball court which included North’s burgundy “N” at center court. The boards were removed one by one and numbered so they can be assembled at a later date. Items like this are worthwhile since they just can’t be duplicated.”

The Castle Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 4:30pm, and Sunday 1pm to 4:30pm.

North School, located just west of the Covenant campus, was opened in 1922 and was the academic home to tens of thousands of Saginaw students. However, by 2004 the aged facility became too costly for the Saginaw school district to maintain and operate. When the building was shuttered, school district officials removed usable furnishings and equipment, and permitted the Castle staff to preserve a few historical items.

In 2013, Covenant purchased the building from the district for $325,000 to raze it and assist in the elimination of vacant structures in the neighborhood.

Exterior demolition of the former North School building is planned to begin March 17, weather permitting. In May, the site will be converted to green space. Covenant plans to evaluate the land for future use.

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