Progress downtown Albion – Mid March 2016

Aerial drone photo of downtown Albion Coca Cola mural by Gannon Cottone – March 18, 2016

One icon of downtown Albion Michigan is the Coca Cola mural that is adjacent to the Kalamazoo River.  Also seen in this view is City Hall, (far top left), Albion Fire Station (back center, red roof), and several downtown businesses including Books and More, Dickerson Music, Lopez Taco House and the Albion Post Office. The Albion Water Tower, another Albion icon, is seen in the upper right of this photo.

On the left, a red brick building, 101 N. Superior Street, is the future home of the Gerstacker and Ford Institutes at Albion College.  This corner building of Superior and Cass Streets, is sometimes called “101.” It is one of many buildings being developed in Albion as part of a master plan to redevelop downtown Albion with major changes in 2016.  The plan includes a new 72 room hotel two blocks south of this corner, with demolition beginning early April.

With an interesting pattern of educational shifts, Albion College students will attend more classes in downtown Albion, at the same time that Albion Public School students increasingly attend Marshall Public Schools.  The communities and educational institutions are becoming more blended.  Strong State of Michigan support is demonstrated by a contingent grant of $4.2 million.  If on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the people of Albion approve a proposal for annexation with Marshall Public Schools, then the newly annexed school systems may become a prototype for improving educational systems even with decreasing budgets.