Lansing Schools Want Piece of Stimulus

By: John Tramontana Email
By: John Tramontana Email

Billions of dollars could soon be heading Michigan's way. Money for infrastructure, health care, and school improvements. You'll have to make a case to get some though, a task the Lansing School District is already on top of.

"We were actually ready, poised, and among the first to actually submit a plan to our legislators," said Superintendent Dr. T.C. Wallace.

The district faces a laundry list of needs. From new roofs, to heating systems to programming.

And the price tag? Pretty hefty.

"We need $350 million dollars."

Estimates show Lansing could get $25 million, meaning many of the projects will have to be prioritized. Wallace says they're in that phase now.

"The critical infrastructure needs such as boilers. Then I'd have to say technology. Then I'd have to say safety."

They're also looking at consolidating some schools -- shutting down those too costly to fix. The only problem is the stimulus doesn't allow new schools to be built with the money.

"The projects have to be projects that can be accomplished in a 180-day period. So that rules out (new) schools."

Wallace hopes to have all projects prioritized within the new few weeks. Then it'll just be wait and see how much money the district will get.

"Whatever we're allocated, we'll be ready to put a shovel in the ground so to speak, which is what the legislation requires."

The stimulus package could be finalized within the next few weeks, with the money heading out shortly after. As far as Lansing's concerned, it can't come soon enough.

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