It's been vacant for more than five years, but now that the Holmes Street School has been sold, neighbors are trying to stop the sale from finalizing.
The building would be the new home for Teen Challenge and would house up to 150 male drug and alcohol abuse patients.
"If they come in, we'll lose this entire green space," said Adam Pitcher, a concerned resident. "We'll no longer have a place for the children to play and our home equity will go down."
Pitcher and others addressed the Lansing Board of Education at this week's meeting. The problem is, the board can't do anything about it.
"It's really out of our hands," board Vice President Hugh Clarke said. "We signed a contract. We signed a buy sell agreement. We can't, at this point, withdraw from that agreement without perhaps being sued or being assessed damages. We can't do it."
Neighborhood children are constantly playing on the playground. Residents say it's a safe place for them in the community. They're concerned that the rehab center would deter families from moving into the neighborhood.
Pticher said he'd like to see other uses for the building.
"There's community centers, elderly homes. There's all kinds of possibilities."
Before the sale can be finalized, the city of Lansing must approve a re-zoning request for the center. If the request is denied, the school district could be out $200,000, the sale price of the building.