School Land Dispute

By: Nick LaFave
By: Nick LaFave

The former 'School for the Blind' campus in Lansing is up for sale. The two buyers, the city of Lansing and the Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy, continue to debate how to divide the property.

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero wants to see all 35 acres sold to the Lansing Housing Commission, who would develop more than 70 homes on the land. They would also sell 3 acres to the Academy so they could continue to operate their school. MMLA Superintendent Mark Eitrum says that's not enough land.

Also, under that plan they would have to build a new gymnasium. Eitrum says it would cost just about as much money to build that one structure (estimated at one million dollars) as it would to buy the entire 35 acres from the state (960k).

Eitrum says two independent agencies recommend they have 12 acres to operate the school... and says they would be willing to take 9.5 from the city. Mayor Bernero declined to comment on whether or not the 3 acre offer is negotiable... only that he still wants to negotiate.

Other concerns include the housing that would be put up. Residents don't want to see more low-income housing come in. Members of the Housing Commission say, even affordable housing, would run no lower than 110 thousand dollars.

It's not known when the two sides will get together next to negotiate.


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