When Spring Lake Township realized the historic DeWitt School needed repairs, they turned to a lesser known, yet critical partner in the community to help: the North Bank Communities Fund (NBCF).
The NBCF was established by a group of civic leaders to permanently support the Village of Spring Lake, Spring Lake Township, and the City of Ferrysburg, as well as other communities that are north of the bridge and considered part of the north bank communities in Ottawa County. The fund is held at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.
“The North Bank Community Fund does exactly what they say with their funds. They have been long time supporters of the DeWitt School—first with the bell tower renovation and now with the new roof.” –John Nash, SLT Supervisor
The DeWitt School was a traditional, one-room schoolhouse built in 1891. For more than sixty years, a single teacher instructed first through eighth graders, many of whom walked two miles to attend. Now the school is open to the public and is often used by local schools to allow students to experience a different type of a learning environment.
In addition to funding from the NBCF, the Loutit Foundation —which is also held at the GHACF —contributed to this project. The two organizations donated to the total removal of the old roof and purchase and installation of new sheeting and new roofing, while Spring Lake Township paid for the painting supplies and handled the prep work.
Volunteers from Shape Corporation helped paint the school. “The Shape volunteer team did a great job scraping and painting,” said Nash. “Here, here for many hands make projects work.”
The township plans to plant Michigan-friendly bushes around the building and clean and repair the white fence along the road.
Photo credit: John Nash