Zoning meeting scheduled on closed school

HERSEY — A long-closed elementary school could soon become the home of a new software development firm.

The village of Hersey board will consider a zoning variance request at its meeting, at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19, which would allow the former Hersey Elementary School to be turned into a new business. The property, which includes a 10,000 square-foot building on six acres of land, is currently zoned for public/recreational use; if approved by the board, it would be changed to business use.

Mike Obermier purchased the property in 2014. Since then, he said, he has invested “a considerable amount” of money in renovating the building after it had fallen into disrepair.

Obemier estimated the school had been closed for three years prior to his purchase of it.

Obemier said while he has been approached by people with concerns about the number of people the company could potentially employ and the amount of traffic it could bring to the area, the project is still in its early planning stages and those types of answers are yet to be determined.

“We know this much for sure — we want to be an asset to the community,” Obermier said.

Obermier, a Reed City native who graduated from Ferris State University, is currently working in the Metro Detroit area after a career in the technology field that has spanned the globe, he said. Now, he seeks a return to his roots.

“One day, you just go, ‘I’ve been all over the world. But if you’re going to do something interesting, you may as well go home to do it,'” he said.

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