The old Nicolet Elementary School building is being reworked with a retro look, inviting all sorts of businesses in.
“It’s nice to see that it’s stayed here as a historical monument in the community,” said John Moore, a former principal at the school in the 90s.
It was built in 1891 so of course, a lot of memories fill these halls.
“The stone that has ‘Nicolet’ on the front–that was produced in Michigan–was misspelled,” he said. “But they didn’t want to pay to have it done again, so they put the misspelled stone up at the front of the building.”
And many of them live on. Intentionally preserved in the modern makeover.
Twenty businesses, from fitness to photography, are inside. And one of the owners opened shop in the same classroom she sat in when she was 8 years old.
“I love the nostalgic feeling of it. I love that they kept the lockers,” said Kymberly Carlson. “So, I was not hesitant at all to say ‘yes’ and come on in and I’m excited.”
And one of the most important aspects of the project was to maintain–to an extent–what was there before and that history is written all over the walls.
“We really see a lot of the value here as being the historical significance of it,” said Theo Holba, co-owner of the building. “So, we didn’t want to erase that. We wanted to preserve it and we wanted to use that as an asset to provide value to the tenets that have moved in here and the tenets that will move in here in the future.”
It boils down to breathing new life into an old building.
“It’s honestly about putting people back in the school,” said Logan Rankin, another co-owner. “Putting businesses that we’re helping grow in the school–that’s the life I think the community is looking for.”
A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony is Thursday, January 9th, 2020 at 4:30pm.