Lansing School Board Reviews Facilities Report

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

"They looked at all of our assets, how to look at it in the business sense, and how we could better work with the buildings to make them more efficient, if not build new buildings."

-Guillermo Lopez, Lansing Board of Education President

Could there be a new high school in Lansing's future?

It's one of the ideas on the table as the school board looks at a report about its buildings at Thursday's board of education meeting.

Not only has the district formed a task force, it's hired a professional firm to review the buildings.

"Eastern High School is the most expensive building to maintain," Lansing Board of Education President Guillermo Lopez said.

That's just one of the findings from the report by Jones Lang LaSalle, a commercial real estate firm the school board hired to review every district building and their bottom line.

"They looked at all of our assets, how to look at it in the business sense, and how we could better work with the buildings to make them more efficient, if not build new buildings," Lopez said.

Many parents said while some schools could use improvements, they don't mind the way things are right now.

"Most of the high schools have been around for 50 or 60 years, so why not just put the money back into the schools?" said Rechelle Kendrick, a mother of two Lansing high schoolers.

While that is a possibility, it might not be the most cost effective one after the board reviews the data from both the formal report and the task force's findings. It could mean some schools will close or even be demolished, and that has some worried about tradition.

"Every parent wants their kids to go to the same high school," Daniel Mask said.

It was his daughter's 16th birthday on Thursday, and Mask couldn't imagine bringing her balloons to any other school.

"I went to Sexton in '87, and I'm just a Sexton guy," Mask said.

The school board said they understand those concerns, but they have to focus on the future

"There's a point in time where that kind of has to move aside for the benefit of the kids coming up," Lopez said.

All options are on the table right now, including major upgrades, selling property, or shuffling students around. But whatever the plan, the board wants the whole community to be behind it

"It has to be the best, the best proposal possible," Lopez said.

Tonight's public board meeting starts at 6:30 at the school administration building.

They'll be reviewing the details of the report, and discussing the facilities task force.


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