Street after street of handsome colonials, well-manicured lawns, and cul-de-sacs with sports-playing kids make the area around Lawton Elementary feel more like a suburb than a city. The Lawton area includes established neighborhoods inside the freeway ring, newer ones to the southwest in Pittsfield Township, and a section of rural Lodi Township to the west. All students go to Slauson Middle School and Pioneer High.

Around the school itself, south of Scio Church, there are a variety of split-levels and colonials. Farther south, the simple 2-story homes on Northbrook date from the 1980s, as do the 217-unit Meadowbrook Village apartments off Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. just north of I-94.

Across I-94 in Pittsfield Township, the 1990s-era Arbor Creek and Boulder Ridge subdivisions hug the west side of the freeway, tucked behind the Oak Valley Centre. Arbor Creek provides large 2-story cul-de-sac homes with tidy lawns. The Colonial-style Boulder Ridge has a play park, and the two subdivisions share a common area with a walking path. The 192-unit Centerra Pointe townhouse apartments sit tightly clustered on 18 acres along Oak Valley, across from Boulder Ridge and Arbor Creek. Uptown Ann Arbor’s new lofts and townhomes at Ann Arbor-Saline and Oak Valley offer a more urban feel: some lofts perch above retail space.

South of Waters is the Hawthorne Ridge subdivision, whose 2-story homes boast big garages and vaulted brick entranceways. Beyond the Lake Forest Golf Club lie small brick ranches, 2-story houses, and open fields; homes are set far back down long driveways.

Farther west, Lodi Township still has active farms, including a few horse farms. Along Wagner are older country homes with vegetable gardens and big yards with lots of trees, and sometimes a tractor or dilapidated barn.

Students are bused to Lawton from the Pinelake Village Cooperative, a 1960s-vintage federal project on S. Maple with 129 townhouses.

Bike lanes: Scio Church Rd. has a marked bike lane, and Ann Arbor-Saline out to Oak Valley has either sidewalk paths or a bike lane (the latter for the difficult I-94 bridge).

Walking: Lawton School has a walk score of just 11 ( This is another area in which suburban sections are actually more walkable than those in the city: many subdivisions near Ann Arbor-Saline and Oak Valley are close to Meijer and other stores and restaurants south of I-94.