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Territories of Williamston Community Schools

This article was last updated on: July 3th of 2021

Image at the top of the screen.

Logo of Williamston Community Schools.

Lore

Aside from the four major properties that make up Williamston Community Schools, the school district also owns various other lands without school buildings across town. Sadly, we do not know much about these territories as they are rarely discussed. We may not even know of all the extra land the school district owns. Williamston Community Schools is currently leasing several of its properties to generate income for the district and/or pay off the purchase cost. As such, you could say Williamston Community Schools is an active player in the real-estate business. The property where a third elementary school was supposed to be built remains unknown and is not confirmed to be any of these properties. All information regarding these properties is from Williamston Community Schools board meetings and public records.


Sherwood Road Property

Referred to as the "Sherwood Road Property" by the school board, this is a stretch of property on the corner of Sherwood Road and Williamston Road owned by Williamston Community Schools. The property is 125 acres in size, 114 of which is usable farmland. According to public records, Williamston Community Schools originally purchased the property on July 9th of 1999 for $500,000 with school bond money. On February 16th of 2004, WCS fully paid off the land contract.Previously, WCS had been allowing Webberville Community Schools to use the property for their Future Farmers of America program for an unknown extent of time. This agreement was renewed yearly every January. However, in a board meeting that took place on December 7th of 2020, the school board voted to consider ending this agreement in favor of leasing the property to local farmers to raise money for the school district.

On February 1st of 2021, the school board voted in a 7-0 decision to end the contract with Webberville Community Schools and begin leasing the Sherwood Road Property as soon as possible. It turns out as soon as possible was pretty soon, as WCS held a bidding lease for the property soon after, which closed on February 16th of 2021. Richard Chaffee, a Webberville farmer, had the highest bid to lease the property. In a 7-0 vote, the board voted to accept his lease bid on March 15th of 2021. We do not know how long this lease agreement is.


Highland Street Property

Williamston Community Schools also owns a property next to Explorer Elementary. It includes a small house and is less than an acre in property size. The address is 502 Highland St, Williamston, MI 48895. During a school board meeting on September 21st of 2020, the school voted to purchase the property for $165,000 USD. This was approved with a 4-3 decision. WCS is currently leasing the property to its former owners. The school district plans to use the property to make the nearby intersection safer, but does not have a real plan to accomplish this yet.

On June 8th of 2021, the school board disccussed and renewed the Highland Street property lease.


2258 E Rowley Road

This property is located a short distance away from Explorer and Discovery. It is in a residential area (as residential as you can get in Williamston anyway), but also next to the large field that the elementary students play on sometimes. The property contains a mint green house and a garage, both of which are in states of neglect and disrepair. The school district uses this property for storage and it is unknown if they have any future plans with it. Various things such as boxes of paper, staff vehicles, the football trailer, a 1970s Chevy van, the football trailer, and snow plows have been seen there. The school stores incident report records and other documents in the house. The last recorded tenants lived in the house in 1993. A document shows Williamston Community Schools purchased this lot in 2002. Despite this long period of vacancy, the school massively over-payed for the property. The district purchased the Rowley Road property for $275,000, despite the property being valued in the $160,000 range. The district paid for this purchase through a loan and used the 2004 bond used to expand Williamston High School to pay off the mortgage on on the property.

We aren't sure why the district purchased 2258 E Rowley Road. Given its proximity to the other elementary schools, as well as the fact that WCS tried to finance a third elementary school just a year after it was purchased, it is possible this property was supposed to be the site of the failed third elementary school. However, that is just speculation. Why the school doesn't just sell the property and rent a storage locker is beyond our understanding. If the district plans to eventually sell the property, it would first have to spend a significant amount of funds repairing the buildings on the property. Given the fact that the school already over-payed for the property in the first place, it is hard to see how this would ever make financial sense for Williamston Community Schools. It seems 2258 E Rowley Road is doomed to be no more than a glorified storage area for the foreseeable future.


Sources

1. BoardBook - Williamston Community Schools Public View 2. BoardBook - December 7, 2020 at 7:00 PM - Regular Meeting 3. BoardBook - 09-16-20 Resolution with Exhibits
4. BoardBook - Sherwood Road Property Agreement 5. BoardBook - September 21, 2020 at 7:00 PM - Regular Meeting 6. WCS Website - Farm Lease
7. BS&A Online - Parcel Number: 33-03-03-24-300-009 8. BoardBook - Custom Minutes for February 1, 2021 at 7:00 PM - Regular Meeting 9. FastPeopleSearch - People living at 2258 Rowley Road
10. CADL Archive - Rowley.pdf 11. ERADL Archive - Eaton Rapids--Births 1989 12. Neighbor Report - Residents of Rowley Road
13. Williamston Community Schools Website - Finance and Enrollment Update 14. BS&A Online - 2258 E Rowley Road 15. BoardBook - Custom Minutes for March 15, 2021 at 7:00 PM - Regular Meeting
16. StarvingFarmer.com Directory of American Farmers - Ingham County Michigan Farms