Former elementary school finds new owner, and purpose, in Manistee County

Photo courtesy of UpNorthLive

Photo courtesy of UpNorthLive

A former elementary school in Manistee County has been purchased with the intent to turn it into an assisted living home for seniors.

The former Kennedy Elementary School has been closed since 2011. The Manistee Area Public School District cites declining enrollment as a big reason for the closure. Since then the school and property has been empty.

Husband and Wife, Bill and Toni Clous have bought school along with 19 acres, to renovate it and turn it into a living home for seniors. Bill is the owner of Eastwood Custom Homes.

Sarah Howard is the executive director of the Manistee County Council on Aging.

She said there’s a great need in the community for more access to assisted living.

“It’s really important that we have places for seniors to live that are reasonable, cause we don’t have a lot of even housing for seniors, we have a couple of buildings but not a lot of housing for seniors, so it’s important.”

The deal is worth $200,000, and Bill plans to spend $2-million dollars on renovations.

Once renovations are complete, the facility will have 35 housing units.

The project is expected to create 25 to 35 new jobs.

No date has been set for a reopening of the revamped facility.