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2001-08-12
Jackson, MI. Home Depot Wants School Land

Beware of School Committees that try to become real estate brokers. In Jackson, Michigan, residents are wishing that their School Board would spend more time on education and less time trying to sell land to Home Depot. School Superintendent Dan Evans says he's got a 'verbal agreement' to sell off the public school district administration building and surrounding land to Home Depot. The School District hopes to get $3.5 million from Home Depot, minus the cost of relocating their administrative offices. At a recent school board meeting, resident Greg Wilson, who used to sit on the School Board, criticized his former colleagues for land dealing instead of educating. "You're a board of education," he told them, "not a board of realtors." Residents are also upset that Home Depot, which stores a large volume of liquid and solid hazmats, might not be a great neighbor next door to the Hunt School. According to Wilson, the Home Depot would be built within 200 yards of a 600 student elementary school. Given the fact that there have been 4 major fires since 1995 at big box home improvement stores, neighbors warn that a respository for toxic chemicals is not a good location next to a building housing young children. Home Depot has had two major fires in Tempe, Arizona and Quincy, Massachusetts. Other home improvement fires took place at a Builder's Square in Mapleton, Georgia, and a Lowe's in Albany, Georgia.According to the National Fire Protection Association, which investigated these multi-million dollar fires, "more incidents are inevitable" at these stores. Maybe its time for the Jackson, Michigan school board to hit the books and do a little research on the public safety issues raised by putting what amounts to a chemical warehouse next to a large school. Volatile mixture, Mr. Superintendent.

What you can do: For more information about the Jackson, Michigan controversy, or the Home Depot fires, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
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