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Residents raise concerns about UM-Health Sparrow mental health plans at former Eastern High School

Posted at 8:40 PM, Jul 01, 2024
  • UM Health-Sparrow recently announced plans to convert the former Eastern High School into a behavioral mental health facility.
  • Residents have expressed concerns because the project could include demolishing the historic Eastern High building.
  • Watch video above to hear what both sides, residents and what UM Health-Sparrow, had to say.

The former Eastern High School has sat empty on the corner of North Pennsylvania and Jerome since 2019. But, it still means so much to those in the neighborhood.

Former Eastern High School

“That building is part of Lansing's DNA,” said Councilman Ryan Kost.

Kost said that’s why he's not fully on board with a plan from building's owner, UM Health - Sparrow, to convert the nearly 100-year-old building into a behavioral mental health facility, which would include 120 mental health beds.

“It is my understanding that Sparrow plans to demolish the building and leave a memorial for the former school, which will be a tragedy,” Kost said.

Councilman Ryan Kost

Kost isn’t the only one who feels this way. Nancy Mahlow is with the Eastside Neighborhood Organization and hopes UM Health - Sparrow can provide the mental health resources while preserving the building. But UM-Health-Sparrow said that's hard to do because the building's "dilapidated interior makes it unsafe and cost prohibitive to locate any services there."

Nancy Mahlow

We reached out to UM-Health- Sparrow for comment, but they declined our request and referred us to a press release.

Before the plan is finalized, it must be approved by the university of Michigan Board of Regents.

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Tianna Jenkins

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