LPD May Move Precinct to South Lansing

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The Lansing Police Department wants more space. The Lansing School District has it.

And with the city brokering the deal, LPD and LSD are hoping to help each other out.

Under a proposal Chief Operating Officer Chad Gamble brought to the Lansing school board meeting Thursday night, LPD would move its north precinct to more than 150,000 square feet of space at the Hill Center on Lansing's south side.

"I think this is a great option to be able to create this partnership with the school district to be able to have them save money, have the city of Lansing save money," Gamble said.

The school district is paying to heat and light an old high school building, Gamble said, and since the police department's lease on its north precinct on May St.. expires at the end of August.

LPD Chief Mike Yankowski says the community center on Wise Rd. is a natural place to go.

"We could really use some extra space," he said. "We need a facility that's going to work, that's adaptable for the work environment of the Lansing Police Department for their day-to-day operations. So that environment has to be secure and it has to be workable space."

The police department would move its patrol division and investigators bureau to the space, if the proposal is approved. Yankowski says it's a way to extend the department's reach into another part of the city.

"It really allows the police department to get closer to the neighborhoods," he said. "Who wouldn't want the police department close to their houses and their schools? I think that's great opportunity for the south side of the city."

Lansing School Board President Peter Spadafore says its a great opportunity for the district too.

"We have a lot of unused space at the Hill Center," he said. "We want it to be used based to its fullest capacity and try to take it off of our books for the sake of paying utilities."

Under the proposal, the city would spend about $1 million renovating the north wing of the center. New carpets and lighting would be installed and the parking lot potentially repaved.

"Any dollar we don't have to spend on a parking lot update is a dollar we can use on something else in the district," said Spadafore.

Spadafore says the district hasn't seen any blueprints and board members still have some lingering questions on what exactly the physical changes will be.

But nonetheless, Spadafore and the city both seem comfortable with the proposal and confident in its approval.

"I think it's just kind of dotting the i's, crossing the t's and we're very hopeful, very confident that we can cross the finish line on this agreement and really create this win for the school district, win for the City of Lansing, win for the south side," Gamble said.

The board is expected to revisit the proposal March 6.

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