In 1997, Vic & Genevieve Weller approached the Rockford Public Schools offering the sale of their property on Nine Mile road for expansion of the district. Although the farmland had been in the Weller family for over 100 years and, in fact, Mr. Weller was born in the house, he was a strong supporter of education and the Rockford Public Schools and hoped the land would someday be used for a school. Mr. Weller served on the Kent Intermediate School District Board for 40 years and was most concerned with providing a balanced education for all students.
As a result of the Wellers’ generosity, the district was able to purchase the property and, following voter approval of a bond issue, East Rockford Middle School was built and dedicated in the fall of 2000. As part of the original agreement, Mr. & Mrs. Weller resided in the home until they passed away, at which time the district acquired the farmhouse.
The house has been vacant for several years and the condition of the structure is cost prohibitive to restore. The district has discussed this with a member of Mr. & Mrs. Weller’s family who agrees there is “too much structural damage to that house to make it worth saving…and please know that my family is at peace with the eventual outcome of the property.” The family is in favor of the district’s plans to use fieldstone from the porch as part of a monument in dedication to the Weller family, which will be created with input from the Weller family.
The Board of Education has agreed to accept bids through December 31, 2012 for purchase of the house. Interested parties may contact Jeremy Amshey, Owen-Ames-Kimball Company, at 456-1521 for details. The purchaser will be responsible for all moving costs, permits, etc., with relocation of the structure to take place no later than July 31, 2013.