Community facilities include municipal buildings, school facilities, recreational and cultural facilities, health care facilities, and public services such as police and fire protection. While some of these are owned and operated by the City of Kalamazoo, many are under the jurisdiction of school districts, non-profit agencies, and private institutions. An analysis of community facilities is important in relation to land use patterns and the overall quality of life in the community. Figure X-1 and Table X-1 identify community facilities in the City of Kalamazoo.


1. Existing Public Schools and Programs

The City of Kalamazoo is serviced by Kalamazoo Public Schools, parochial schools and a handful of independent schools. The public school system includes 18 elementary schools, three junior high schools, two senior high schools, an alternative high school, a community education center and three special education facilities. Of the public schools, five (Chime Elementary, Indian Prairie Elementary, King-Westwood Elementary, Lakewood Elementary and Northeastern Elementary) are located outside the City.

 The Community/Adult Education program is operated at Old Central High School on South Westnedge Avenue. Adjacent to Old Central High School, the public schools operate the Vine Alternative High School, and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center in the old Vine Elementary School. The Alternative High School provides classes (8th - 12th grade) for approximately 140 at-risk students, while the Mathematics and Science Center is an accelerated science education program serving approximately 300 students. Finally, with regard to Special Education programs, the public schools operate the Kennedy Center, the Lakeside Center, and the Parkwood-Upjohn Center (part of the Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary School) which serve students of all ages with special needs.

All public school facilities are available for community use. Several neighborhood organizations, non-profit entities, and recreation programs utilize public schools during the evenings and summers for community activities. These programs are discussed in more detail in the recreation analysis.

Figure X-1 Community Facilities

2. Parochial and Independent Schools

The Diocese of Kalamazoo operates Hackett Catholic Central High School, St. Augustine Elementary, the St. Monica School (K-8), the St. Mary School (K-8), and the St. Joseph School (K-8) within the City. In addition, the Kalamazoo Christian Schools operate Kalamazoo Christian High School, East Christian (K-8), North Christian (K-8), Providence Christian (K-9), and South Christian (K-8) schools. Finally, independent, privately owned and operated schools in the City of Kalamazoo include:

  • Arcadia Elementary: new 5,000 s.f. gym, seven additional class rooms, and 1,900 s.f. expansion of media center;
  • Northglade Elementary: new art and music classrooms, new 5,000 s.f. gym, remodel cafeteria to 2,900 s.f. media center, and remodel multi-purpose room to 2,800 s.f. cafeteria;
  • Spring Valley Elementary: new 5,000 s.f. gym, remodel cafeteria to 2,000 s.f. media center, and remodel multi-purpose room to 2,400 s.f. cafeteria;
  • Winchell Elementary: new 5,000 s.f. gym, seven additional class rooms, and remodel multi-purpose room to 2,400 s.f. cafeteria;

4. Kalamazoo Valley Intermediate School District

The Kalamazoo Valley Intermediate School District (KVISD) is a regional educational agency providing educational support and regulatory services to all public and non-public schools in the greater Kalamazoo area. Member KVISD school districts include: Climax-Scots, Comstock, Galesburg-Augusta, Gull Lake, Kalamazoo, Parchment, Portage, Schoolcraft and Vicksburg. Services provided by the KVISD include special education services, youth career and employment services, professional development services for teachers and administrators, a regional education media center, and technology services.

 The special education programs offered and operated by the KVISD include: assessment and evaluation consultation for all children (up to age 26) in Kalamazoo County; classroom programs for children with autism or visual impairments; teacher assistance with special needs students; and, job training for students with mental and/or physical disabilities. Additionally, the KVISD runs the Croyden Avenue School for children with severe mental and/or physical disabilities, the Young Adult Program which offers employment and training for students age 18 to 26, the Valley Center Program, for students with emotional disabilities, and Juvenile Home Schools, comprised of the Intensive Learning Center and Youth Center School, which provide classes for children detained by the Kalamazoo County Juvenile System.

 5. Western Michigan University

Founded in 1903, Western Michigan University (WMU) now enrolls more than 26,000 students. WMU offers 151 undergraduate, 59 master's, two specialist, and 11 doctoral programs on the Kalamazoo campus and at six regional education centers. The University's East and West Campuses are located on 450 acres and have 125 buildings. Only 5 acres of land have been acquired by the University since 1980. This land was acquired to accommodate the new Hawthorn College of Business.

University properties provide over 6 million square feet of space, an increase of 275,000 square feet since 1980. New buildings and/or major additions over the past ten years include: the Dalton Center, Miller Plaza, McCracken Hall, Campus Services, Hawthorn College of Business, Waldo Library renovation, an addition of 5,000 seats to Waldo Stadium, Shaw Theater addition, a new recreation building, Read Fieldhouse addition, renovation of Campus Apartments, and the Draper, Seidschlag, Ernest-Smith Burnhams residence halls.

 In 1993, WMU prepared a campus development plan. The plan identified several major capital improvement projects which include a Walwood Union parking lot, a new science facility, a new health and human service facility, and east campus fine arts renovations. In addition, suggested road improvements that impact traffic circulation on and off campus include: 1) extension of left turn lane from northbound Howard at West Michigan Avenue, and 2) modification of turning radius at intersection of West Michigan Avenue and Stadium Drive. Finally, recommendations for improving pedestrian circulation include increased accessibility to paths, better pathway lighting, provision of bike paths, and the erection of a campus information system with way-faring signs and kiosks to assist travelers unfamiliar with the campus. WMU will complete an update to their campus development plan by 1998.

WMU also owns four parcels of land in the City which are not located on the main campuses. The location, size, current and planned use of these land holdings are described below:

  • Kleinstuck Preserve: 44 acres located between West Maple Street and Oakland Drive. Land has been designated for a nature preserve for several decades and will continue to serve the University and community in this fashion.
  • WMU Aviation School: located at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, the aviation school will be relocating to the Battle Creek airport. However, WMU will continue to lease and use the property for their Aeronautical Engineering program.
  • Arcadia Property: approximately 200 acres at the corner of Drake Avenue and Kendall Street. The site is currently leased and used for agricultural purposes. WMU has no specific development plans for this parcel.
  • Asylum Lake Property: 1,200 acres located east of Drake Road and South of Stadium Drive. In the 1993 Plan to Plan, WMU proposed to develop the property for a research/business park. However, those plans did not come to fruition. WMU has no current development plans for this property.

 6. Kalamazoo College

A nationally ranked, liberal arts college founded in 1833, Kalamazoo College is among the country's 100 oldest colleges. The sixty-acre, hilltop campus is located one-half mile west of downtown Kalamazoo in the West Main Hill neighborhood. The College's athletic facilities (approximately 20 acres) are located one block to the southwest of campus. The College's enrollment is stable, at approximately 1,300 students, with no major enrollment growth or significant new facility needs anticipated.

 Kalamazoo College developed a campus Master Plan in 1992. Because no new facilities are proposed, the emphasis of the plan is to more effectively integrate 1) the traditional campus area surrounding the Quadrangle with 2) newer campus development to the north, and 3) the surrounding residential neighborhood.

 With regard to the surrounding residential houses, the campus Master Plan identifies several goals: 1) encourage campus traffic to travel along West Main Street and West Michigan Avenue rather than residential streets; 2) provide an adequate supply of campus parking to reduce spill-over parking onto residential streets; 3) provide buffer areas with vegetation and large setbacks between campus facilities and single-family homes; and, 4) ensure future acquisition be pursued with the objective to keep the bulk of the surrounding neighborhood intact.

Kalamazoo College also seeks to improve the appearance of the land along the campus perimeter and along gateways onto the campus. While the college does not own most of the land along the perimeter, it has identified portions of Lovell Street, West Main Street, West Michigan Avenue, and the Arcadia Creek as areas that need improvement.

 In addition the campus Master Plan recommended the following roadway modifications:

  • Re-construction of West Main and widening of the existing two-way segment west of Douglas Avenue;
  • Converting the one-way segment of West Main Street (east of Douglas) to two-way movement;
  • Re-alignment of West Michigan Avenue adjacent to the College Athletic Campus as part of the completion of a loop road system servicing Western Michigan University.

 7. Kalamazoo Valley Community College

With more than 11,000 students and 100 plus full-time faculty members, Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) offers three different associate degrees programs and a variety of certificate programs. While KVCC's main campus is located in Oshtemo Township, the junior college recently developed a downtown campus primarily to serve business students. The Acadia Commons campus in downtown Kalamazoo is currently at capacity. KVCC does project a need for additional facilities on the downtown campus.

 8. Davenport Business College

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Davenport Business College provides campuses in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo campus, located on West Main Street, serves more than 1,200 students and offers 15 associate degree programs, five BBA degrees and several diplomas.

9. Nazareth College

Nazareth College, which closed in 1992, was a private educational institution with approximately 700 students located on Gull Road. The Sisters of Saint Joseph leased the campus property to Nazareth College. Since its closing, many of the campus facilities have been demolished. Five structures remain. Dillon Hall was converted to a Section 202 (funded by the Dept. of HUD) Elderly Housing complex in the early 1980s, the gymnasium has recently been purchased by Borgess Hospital which will use the site for a Health & Fitness Center, and the Kalamazoo County Health and Human Services Department uses the remaining three facilities for offices and service provision. The Sisters of Saint Joseph have no plans to further develop or sell the old Nazareth College campus.

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