Holmes St. School Sale Authorized

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The advocates of the sale of Holmes Street School to Spartan Internet Consultant say it's not a win-win situation--it's a win-win-win.

Bob Tresize, CEO of Lansing's Economic Development corporation, cites expansion of an IT company, maintenance of green space in the neighborhood, and a chunk of change for the Lansing School District.

The school board is also excited about a possible partnership between Spartan Internet and MSU to build a tech center for students in the building as well.

What to do with the Holmes Street school has been a challenge for many months. First, neighbors opposed a proposal to make it a live-in rehab center. The school board has been interested in the idea of an MSU sponsored tech program, but didn't know if the district could afford it.

Enter Spartan Internet. President Ryan Vartoogian says it was Holmes Street School that really brought the project together.

The company is looking to expand from their offices in downtown Lansing. They hope to double in size, adding about 40 employees. Holmes Street School, Vartoogian says, is a great site for it.

They are also interested in outreach, and love the idea of of a partnership with MSU. Growing a tech-saavy workforce in the area is good for the company, Vartoogian says. "People who grow up in Lansing, get trained in Lansing, are most likely to stay in Lansing."

The mayor's office supports the idea. The brand new superintendent T.C. Wallace backs it too.

The next step is a financial negotiation, which Vartoogian says is already underway.

Lansing has three empty school buildings. The district is still looking for buyers for Northwestern and Gunnisonville.

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