Flint, MI – The Flint Fire Department was called to a fire at the vacant Flint Northern High School building on the city’s north side around 6 p.m. on Oct. 8.
Officials said the fire was small and contained to one room in the building and Flint Community Schools officials were notified.
This is the second fire in less than a week for Flint Schools. On Oct. 7 Washington Community School caught fire in the early morning.
At noon that day, Flint fire officials said they were still working to put out the fire, but had contained it inside areas of the building built with brick.
Washington Community School was built in 1921, marking this year as its hundredth anniversary.
Flint Community Schools closed the building in 2014 to address the district’s then $11 million budget deficit. It had been sitting abandoned since.
The fire completely destroyed the building and the Board of Education will decide how to move forward with the cleanup.
Flint Northern closed in 2014 also due to the district’s budget deficit.
Over half of Flint schools have closed over the past decade due to declining student enrollment. Fewer students mean less state funding and the district has been unable to keep up with its finances. As it stands, the district faces an $18 million deficit.
In August, the Flint Community Schools Board of Education voted to sell some of its 22 vacant properties as part of a deficit elimination plan. Nine properties were listed on the district’s website by September. Washington Community School and Flint Northern High School are not among them.