Lakewood Elementary, off Jackson west of I-94, is set in a compact neighborhood of colonials, small ranches, and custom-built tri-levels. The nearby freeway is a mixed blessing, generating easy access but also traffic noise that’s only partially muted by the neighborhood’s many trees.
Westgate shopping center, the Quality 16 movie complex, Liberty Athletic Club, and many stores are a short hop away. Yet, in the midst of all this bustle, the neighborhood slopes down to the unspoiled, grassy shores of tiny First Sister and Second Sister lakes and Dolph Park.
To the immediate southeast of the school are the Liberty Pointe and Liberty Oaks condos and the Burr Oak subdivision. Another substantial condominium development, the massive 130-unit Summerfield Glen, is across Liberty. The rest of the Lakewood area is in southern Scio Township and northern Lodi Township.
Kids are bused from the Orchard Grove manufactured-home community on Wagner and from subdivisions nearby. Outside the subs, big houses on park-size lawns intermix with the remaining farms, with their rustic red and white barns on stone foundations, towering grain silos, split-rail or white picket fences, and occasional horse pastures and stables.
Expensive new homes have sprung up in several areas, including a cluster on Tessmer off Waters where houses are separated by fields of wildflowers, and Pheasant Hollow on Scio Church east of Zeeb, where executive homes perch on sprawling, hilly lots. Across the street is another subdivision on Encore, and to the west is Sandy Creek, with three-to-six-acre homesites and equestrian trails.
Some developments are well established, such as the Country French Estates subdivision in the Lakewood area’s northwest corner. East of Zeeb is the Arbor Meadows development, with stonework facades and landscaped lawns. In Saginaw Hills Estates, modern brick and stone homes and decks rise above impressively large landscaped lawns. Lakewood students who live north of Liberty go on to Forsythe and to Skyline High; those who live south go to Slauson and Pioneer.