NACo Achievement Award Search

    NACo Home Page             Award Search


Reconfiguring Mothballed Urban Schools as Family Resource Centers

Macomb County, MI
Program Year: 2016

Abstract:
Urban school districts in our county suffered falling enrollment due to the recession and other factors. They closed and mothballed schools as a result. Those schools provided no community benefit, but generated continuing costs to keep the buildings minimally secure and functional. Simultaneously, families in those districts experienced recession-driven increased needs for services. We perceived in these circumstances both a need and an opportunity. Beginning in 2014 we partnered with school districts in areas of highest need to reconfigure one school in each district as a Family Resource Center (FRC), with the county and the district (in some cases) sharing renovation costs. We then relocated and co-located a number of the county’s public health, family and early childhood education, and emergency-need programs to the FRC’s, instituting multi-lingual signage and new procedures to serve clients better. Rather than charging the county market-rate lease costs, circa $10-15/square foot, the districts leased the property at just their costs to provide utility and maintenance services – approximately $2/square foot. Thousands of services have been provided to residents in the first year of operation, with significant cost savings to both parties.

Contact:
Mr. Steve Gold
Director of Health and Human Services