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What people want for Huss School

Rob and I had several exciting meeting with local Three Rivers folks this weekend about the potential of Huss School and the ideas that are swirling around in the larger vision for a space in Three Rivers. Several themes emerged from formal and informal conversations:

  1. People want to see the Huss School building renovated and put to good use, rather than torn down.
  2. People want to see life-giving, creative opportunities for those who are on the margins socially and economically, especially youth.
  3. People want to see something that will contribute to the aesthetic and economic value of the neighborhood, city and county.

Admittedly, we’ve been more than a bit intimidated lately about being pursued by such a huge project, but we came out of this weekend feeling even more committed to doing everything we can to fill the halls and rooms of Huss School with creativity and community once again.
There’s so much history and emotional energy surrounding Huss School for many people in Three Rivers and beyond and we feel that if the possibility for this particular building does come to fruition, we’d have to be gentle stewards of those stories and emotions. (For example, check out this blog post Rob stumbled on a couple of weeks ago.) Those in Three Rivers we’ve spoken with so far–and there will be many more, including property neighbors–have been cautiously hopeful about our vision for the building and give their blessing for this radical journey. Re-purposing Huss School would not be re-purposing just any old building, but one that’s a powerful symbol for several generations. We look forward to the opportunity to serve a community that’s looking for inspiring signs of hope and imagination for the good of a city we all love.

Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Kirstin is a member of the *culture is not optional core community and is the Head Caretaker at GilChrist Retreat Center.