School officials mulling possible new use for Trombly

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 19, 2022

GROSSE POINTE PARK — A new use for Trombly Elementary School, at 820 Beaconsfield Ave. in Grosse Pointe Park, could be on the horizon.

The Full Circle Foundation, based in Grosse Pointe Park, is looking into possibly using space at Trombly for some of its programs. Full Circle works with students who have special needs in the Grosse Pointe Public School System, providing job training and other programs. Some of the students work in Full Circle’s popular Full Circle Upscale Resale store on Mack Avenue in the Park, while others pursue different employment training paths.

During a Nov. 28 Grosse Pointe Park City Council meeting, City Manager Nick Sizeland said the Grosse Pointe Board of Education was including a discussion of Trombly’s future during its own meeting Nov. 28. Sizeland, who said the Park has been working closely with the GPPSS on the shuttered school, said Full Circle is considering possible use of the first or second floors of Trombly, or perhaps the whole building.

“We want to see that building utilized,” Sizeland said.

However, this discussion is only in the initial phase, and nothing has been decided or determined.

At this point, Superintendent M. Jon Dean said, “It’s just a conversation.”

Park Mayor Michele Hodges countered a rumor that the Park and the school board had purposely scheduled their meetings on the same night and at the same time. Hodges said, “That is not the case,” pointing out that the council established its calendar of meetings for the year in January.

“We intentionally and thoughtfully made our calendar to avoid conflicts with the school board (meetings),” Hodges said.

Trombly and Poupard Elementary School, in Harper Woods, closed at the end of the 2019-20 school year to reduce costs and address declining enrollment in the district.

The nonprofit Full Circle Foundation already works closely with the GPPSS. The public school system leases two classrooms at Full Circle for students with special needs in the district ages 18 to 26, where the students learn life, social, job and other skills that prepare them to lead more independent lives.

Dean said the thought is that the Full Circle resale shop would remain on Mack — a commercial district — but perhaps some other Full Circle programs might be moved into Trombly.

It wasn’t known at press time when a decision on this possible use might be made.

“(Trombly) is still owned by the school district,” Dean said. “We have been in conversations with the city of Grosse Pointe Park and Full Circle” but nothing is set in stone.