A new use is being considered for the building that was formerly the Clark Lake Community Church on Hyde Road.  Diane Smith would like to convert it to a Montessori preschool for ages 2 thru 6.  Diane is the founder and director of Countryside Montessori School in Hillsdale.   She outlined her hopes for the new school before the Columbia Township board.

The Country Montessori website points to Diane’s 32 years experience teaching preschool age children.  Diane and her husband own and operate a crop farm in Addison Michigan, where they raised their 7 children. Diane’s husband is Brad Smith, a patent attorney in Jackson.  He recently knocked on doors in the area surrounding the church and discussed the possibilities with neighbors.

Brad and Diane Smith

Police Chief Jay Niles spoke to the board yesterday evening and proposed changing the hours at the Township Park on Hyde Road.  Because of problems at the Park last summer, the evening hours had been curtailed to 5 pm instead of 10 pm.  Since that change, he told the board that there have been very few problems.  He suggested that the Park hours be 6 am – 7 pm Monday through Friday, and 6 am – 8 pm on weekends and holidays.  After a discussion with trustees, the board voted to extend the hours to 9 pm for all days.

This video picks up the discussion after Chief Nile’s presentation, starting with a comment from Trustee Robin Tackett.  Within the limits of the video frame, each speaker is identified.  The video concludes before the actual vote was taken , which was unanimous.


Below are two photos of the Township Park the morning after the ice storm.

Like many areas around Clark Lake, the ice storm left its mark on the Township Park.  The board has accepted a bid to cleanup the Park.

The cleanup activity will extend to the Township cemeteries, where some damaged also occurred.