Residents to Vote on Rebuilding East Lansing Schools

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

East Lansing residents have a big decision on their hands. Next Tuesday, they'll be asked to vote yes or no on a 53-million-dollar proposal to revamp schools within the district. Scott Carney, parent of East Lansing students. is urging residents to vote yes. For him, voting no could mean keeping the district behind.

"We will not attract the best teachers, attract the best students, attract the best community members and continue the East Lansing educational excellence," Carney said.

The proposal calls for rebuilding five elementary schools and closing Red Cedar.

"This will allow all of our elementary students to work out of updated facilities," said David Chapin, Superintendent of East Lansing Schools.

Chapin says it's about all students. The proposal also includes adding a wing to MacDonald Middle Shool for 6th graders and providing updated technology for all.

However, former East Lansing Mayor Liz Schweitzer thinks the cost of the changes will be too much.

"The bond itself is $53 million but the payback over 30 years really turns out to be more like $130 million. People I think are just not aware of the financial commitment that they're making," said Schweitzer.

She also says rebuilding schools in a short period of time would displace students. Instead, Schweitzer is calling for a closer look at student enrollment and a slower, sequential rebuild. To buy time, she's urging residents to vote no.

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  • by David Location: Charlotte on Feb 23, 2012 at 09:50 AM
    Just remember pepol of EL once you vote in a bond or a millage you wont get your money back because when it comes up for a renewal they will want you to vote it in agin. And the more money you give the schools the less money you have, where does it end and when you do you say enough ?
  • by V Belloli on Feb 22, 2012 at 08:19 AM
    Thank you WILX for fair and balanced!
  • by Bill on Feb 22, 2012 at 05:23 AM
    As an ex-employee who has seen the effects of the past 2 bonds on ELPS, I recomend the community look very close at what the district is trying to do with the monies. And actually understand what a bond will and will not cover for expenditures. The Bond to revamp the Now Hana community center to later sell it to the city for a tiny fraction of the remaining balance of it's bond. The highschool bond, rebuild bond, where money was allocated for items not really needed, or to purchase technology that was never maintained simply because the standard operating budget could not afford to maintain the equipment. A bond can be nice for getting new equipment and buildings, but what good are they if there is no money to keep the equipment maintained and working. A broken computer that cannot be fixed to lack of funds is less valuable then the space it occupies. Warrenties only cover so much and after the warrenty...who pays for the repair and replacement?
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