EAST LANSING, Mich. — East Lansing Public Schools will be getting upgrades to its outdoor facilities for the next school year.
East Lansing High School will be getting some upgrades to its athletic fields by replacing natural grass with artificial turf.
The field will be lined with four different colors to accommodate football, soccer and lacrosse. Electrical lines will be added under the turf to allow for easier use of scoreboards and sound equipment for games and events.
The eight existing tennis courts will also be upgraded with new surfaces and a corridor and walkway between the courts.
Superintendent Dori Leyko said they expect the project to cost between $3 million and $4 million, which will come out of the district's sinking fund.
“There's been a desire in the community and within many of our student athletes and their families and band members and our instructors to have turf on our field, because it can be used so much more than natural grass," Leyko said. "It opens up a lot of opportunity for more use on our big field for more students and more student athletes.”
The district's six elementary schools will also be getting outdoor learning spaces.
In 2017, city voters approved a bond to rebuild five elementary schools and renovate the sixth and generated $93.77 million. Of that money, $3 million remains, which will pay for the outdoor classrooms.
“They were on our radar pre-COVID, but certainly rose to the top of the list you know, during COVID," Leyko said. "In terms of the opportunities just to get kids outside and learning both doing their learning outdoors, but also learning more about the outdoors.”
Red Cedar Elementary will also be getting an upgrade to its already-existing amphitheater and the interior courtyard will be reconstructed with three and your year-olds in mind. The design will feature different biomes.
“Their outdoor needs are much different than a large elementary playground," Leyko said. "So we worked with the staff in those programs, and the principal and our architects and construction managers to design an interior outdoor space at Red Cedar that's fully contained for those younger kids to use.”
Construction will begin in late spring and early summer and is expected to be complete by the beginning of next school year.
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