About the Windsor Center
THE BUILDING (Joint Public Building Restoration Administrative Board)
The Windsor Center is the former West Iron County Public Schools Middle School or, depending on your age, the former West Iron County Public Schools High School or, going back even further, the Iron River Public Schools High School. The Windsor Center is a multi-purpose building that has evolved from a vacant school to a business/recreation center.
In June, 2009, the West Iron County Public School District moved out of the ‘Middle School’ due to declining enrollment and budget constraints. A community/school ad hoc committee was formed. This committee approached each municipality in the school district with the goal of gaining support to keep the building open for a year and to promote the creation of new businesses and new jobs. Each municipality would contribute a monetary amount to help with utilities and upkeep. The units who voted to support the project were Stambaugh Township, Bates Township, Iron River Township and the City of Iron River. They would each contribute $5,000; the school district also contributed $45,000 for a total of $65,000.
Once the funding was in place, the next step was the ownership of the building. After several drafts and discussion, the Joint Public Building Restoration Administrative Board, a non-profit authority, was formed December 15, 2009. The building was deeded to the authority. One representative from each government unit was chosen to serve the board. It was determined that the building could be self-supporting if every room, except for the gymnasium and the auditorium, were leased annually for a price of $7.00 per square foot.
The building has 25 classrooms, a gymnasium, a cafeteria (common area), bocce courts and an auditorium which seats approximately 400 people. Currently 11 classrooms are available for rent or lease. Four (4) rooms are leased on an annual basis. Eight (8) rooms have short-term leases. The kitchen (previously Home Economics) and Art Room are used for recreation and enrichment programs.
In 1926, the Iron River Township Schools Board of Education proposed a bond issue for a new Iron River High School. The bond issue passed for $292,500.00; the school was completed in 1928.
In 1966, a vote was successful to consolidate the Bates Township School, the Iron River Public Schools and Stambaugh Township Schools, to form the West Iron County Public Schools.
In 2009, the West Iron County Public Schools Board of Education voted to close the Middle School.
On December 15, 2009, the Joint Public Building Restoration Administrative Board was formed. The building was deeded to this new Authority.
In 2010, the building was named “The Windsor Center.” The Windsor Auditorium, named after the first Upper Peninsula woman superintendent, Pearl Windsor, has been a long-standing community point of pride. It is only fitting to continue with the Windsor recognition.