Benzie County Road Commission to demolish Platte River School
Benzie County Road Commission will move ahead with demolition of the Platte River School on US-31 in Honor.
The former elementary school, a one-story brick building, was first built in the early 1950s. It closed in 2017 when Benzie County Central Schools made financial cuts.
Since then, the building has fallen into disrepair.
The Benzie County Road Commission took possession of the property last summer. An initial assessment showed it would cost over $2 million to restore the building.
“The issue really comes down to … mold and moisture in the building. The boiler systems are shot. The floors in the gym have buckled, and there is asbestos under the flooring of the gymnasium,” said Joe Nedow, the road commission’s finance manager and secretary to the board.
Since acquiring the property in 2022, the road commission has heard different proposals for repurposing the building, but none with the funding needed for renovations.
One of those proposals was to convert the old school building into housing for seasonal workers. Nedow says that could still be possible, just not in the Platte River School building.
Nedow says the road commission, which has its offices next door to the Platte River School, plans to demolish the building and construct a new road commission facility on the property.
The road commission applied for a state brownfield grant to demolish the school, but recently learned their application wasn’t selected.
Nedow says they’ll use road commission dollars for the project instead. He didn't have an estimate on how much the demolition work could cost.
The road commission will seek bids, and hopes to to begin demolition within the next four to five months.