Last Fall, we wrote about the old Southwestern Junior High School building in Battle Creek, and the state of disrepair it's in today. Which is a shame, because from the outside, the building is still quite a looker, and a staple in the community.

There was speculation that someone might be able to renovate, and re-open it as some form of public use building. But now, it seems a buyer is in the wings, and could be putting it to a different use.

A post to the Battle Creek Regional History Museum page in November, by our friend Kurt Thornton, says the building could be sold soon, and turned into livable space in the community.

"From what I understand, the BC School Board has okayed the sale of Southwestern Junior High School to a group that plans on renovating the building into apartments.
"If that is true, I hope we can all support the folks that are making this happen. I look forward to seeing what they are coming up with. It's a beautiful building."

There's two good things to come out of this possible news:

  1. The building will get a facelift, and upgrade that it desperately needs if it's going to continue to stand on Goguac St. and Washington Ave.
  2. It will add livable space in a community that is struggling to have readily available housing.

Despite the potentially life-saving news for the building, there is some pushback from the community. Particularly, some residents worry about the type of housing that would go in the building. One person commenting...

"Depending on who is put in there will positively or negatively affect the neighborhood... put a bunch of the wrong people in there and the area will definitely be negatively affected."

Southwest Michigan communities are great places to live, and over the years, communities like Kalamazoo and Battle Creek have been listed on some of the most affordable places in the country to live. However, actually finding a place to live in the communities can prove to be difficult without sitting on a wait list for months at a time.

Should the old Southwestern Junior High School Building be turned into new apartments, it wouldn't likely be for a few years, as HEAVY renovation on the inside of the building is needed.

You can see what it looks like now, and what it looked like when it was still open, in the gallery below.

Then/Now - Southwestern Junior High School in Battle Creek

If you were to drive by the school today, you'd think it could reopen any day. But upon further investigation inside, it's clear this building may have seen its last days. Built in 1927, the building has sat empty since about 2009. Multiple fires, vandalism, and improper care have now left it to only hold bright memories where dark hallways and burned books now remain.

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