Bicycle Institute won’t build Midland dorm

       The Barnett Bicycle Institute has decided against building an 8,000-square-foot dormitory near its bicycle-mechanic school in the Midland area's Ore Mill Business Center.
       Last March, owner John Barnett told the Westside Pioneer he'd temporarily put off the idea - despite having won City Planning Commission approval - because of uncertainties over how the state's Highway 24 expansion plans might affect his proposed project near the intersection of 31st Street and Highway 24. The fear was erecting a building and then having to give it up for highway right of way needs in a few years.
       However, he said this week, his final decision was swayed by another cause: a recent agreement between his institute and the nearby Travelodge Hotel to make some of its apartments available to his students. He gets 250 or more students annually, staying up to a month each, from around the country.
       The hotel's apartments, which include kitchens, a common area and a shed where students can “tweak” their bicycles on weekends when school's not in session, are providing the “communal feeling” he had hoped a dormitory would stimulate. “So we dropped the plan,” Barnett said.
       The $1.1 million dorm would have been part of a 17,000-square-foot building west of the current center, at the southeast corner of Highway 24 and 31st.

Westside Pioneer/press release