NAPOLEON — A street dedication ceremony here Friday morning near the site of this city’s former West Elementary School comes amidst an ongoing housing project at the location.
Several local, officials were on hand as well as representatives of the developer and construction company to dedicate the new Old School Drive. The street intersects with Clairmont Avenue, just east of Glenwood Avenue and due west of where the West school building stood.
The school was taken down several years when Napoleon built a new elementary school.
The new road serves the West Side Villas, a housing development under construction by Janmar Properties and Beck’s Construction, both of Napoleon, during the past two years.
So far, seven buildings — each with two units — have been constructed with 27 more planned. Most are sold or occupied, according to Greg Beck of Beck’s Construction and Suzette Gerken of Janmar Properties.
Their size ranges from 1,385 square-feet to 1,905 square-feet, with prices starting at $205,000, according to Beck.
“Across the county, one of the things we’ve identified that we need is more housing,” Henry County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joel Miller said as construction crews worked on one of the new villas in the background. “More housing in all sorts, so that we can open up that market more and give people a beautiful place to live. People want to move to our communities. They love our communities. And this is just another example of a great partnership between great folks and the city of Napoleon. To be able to put this together and be able to have things like these villas is wonderful for the community. So thanks to you guys and thanks to the city as well.”
“We’re very excited to dedicate the first road in a long time,” said Napoleon Mayor Jason Maassel. “We think maybe 2007ish the last time a new road got dedicated. So, we’re very excited to do that today.”
He noted the apprehension among the neighborhood when Napoleon Area Schools announced it would be combining schools and eliminating West Elementary. Questions were asked about what would replace the school, he indicated.
Maassel thanked Gerken and Beck, noting that they are “people here from Napoleon, helping people from Napoleon build homes that are great for what the people want.”
City Manager Joel Mazur praised the partnerships that made the project possible, and also noted the risk the developer took.
“There’s a lot of risk for businesses to take on to do something like this,” he said. “... hopefully it keeps growing and we see more success out here.”
Following those words, Maassel and Gerken removed a tarp that had covered the Old School Drive/Clairmont Avenue sign.
On the front page: Napoleon Mayor Jason Maassel, Janmar Properties’ Suzette Gerken and Greg Beck of Beck’s Construction, pose next to Napoleon’s new Old School Drive. The public street was dedicated by the city Friday morning, and is just west of the former West Elementary School site where new housing is being built.