Task Force to Examine Lansing School District Facilities

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

"We're going to look at the efficiency of the buildings, to see what's up to date and what isn't, and if any changes need to be made."

-Sam Sinicropi, retired Assistant Superintendent of Operations for Lansing and co-chair of the task force

The Lansing School District is just settling into its second year of restructuring, but more changes could be coming soon.

The district has put together a team to look at the best use for each of its buildings, many of them more than a half a century old. For example, Eastern High School opened its doors in 1928.

"The more the years pass, the buildings need help," Lansing Board of Education President Guillermo Z. Lopez said.

The school board wants to bring the district into the twenty-first century, but given the state of the buildings, that could be tough.

"Certainly it's a challenge to equip some of these schools with technology, and certainly they're built different, and maybe the space is not as usable as we would like it to be," Lopez said.

To figure all of that out, they formed an exploratory facilities task force of 11 community leaders to do a formal review.

"We're going to look at the efficiency of the buildings, to see what's up to date and what isn't, and if any changes need to be made," said Sam Sinicropi, retired Assistant Superintendent of Operations for Lansing and co-chair of the task force. "We need to look at how we're using them and is there a better way to do it."

C. W. Otto Middle School is the only building that stands vacant and not for sale in the Lansing School District right now, but that doesn't mean it's the only facility the task force is looking at.

"There's no targeted building," Lopez said. "They're all being looked at, and they're all going to be scrutinized."

There's no limit on the recommendations the task force could make - from closing schools to major upgrades. It's all about what's best for the budget and the students

"A lot of districts around the Lansing school district have new facilities," Sinicropi said. "New elementary, new high schools, is that something we need to look at for our students also?"

The future is the focus. They want to be proactive now, so it doesn't cost the district even more later.

"We need to act before it's too late," Lopez said. "We just need to make those moves to help our children learn better or having a better learning environment."

The task force is meeting for the first time Wednesday night to start brainstorming.

They hope to have recommendations to the board by December.


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