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Final class graduates from Eastern High School's Pennsylvania Ave. location

Posted at 10:08 AM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 10:27:11-04

LANSING, Mich. — After nearly a century, Eastern High School will be closed to students.

This all after a $120 million dollar bond that passed back in 2016 to allow renovations to Pattengill Middle School, to make it the new high school.

On Sunday, the last class ever at Eastern High Schools old building on Pennsylvania Avenue walked across the stage to graduate.

That's because come this fall, there will be a new school for them to go to.

"I'm very excited, my mom graduated from Eastern High School. I'm glad to be a part of the last graduating class and follow the legacy that my mom left, and so many before me," Lansing Eastern High School 2019 Salutatorian Madison Putmon said.

Legacy, history, and memories, is what many said made graduation day bittersweet. As the 2019 graduates said goodbye to being in high school, they also said goodbye to the building, that has been perched on Pennsylvania Avenue since 1929.

"It means so much. Not only to me but to so many people. I know that I have had countless memories in almost every part of that and I know it's very dear to my heart," Putmon said.

But faculty say the memories will live on in a new, modern building, more suitable for learning.

"Truly, bringing the old tradition over and seeing how it works and we have a great facility going on right now. We're making sure that the 91 years are not forgotten. Truly, trying to blend the old and the new together," Marcelle Carruthers, Eastern High School's Principal said.

"Well, the old Eastern High School, of course, is such a fixture on Pennsylvania Ave. It really has some beautiful details about it, but in terms of it being a 21st-century learning environment, it really isn't, it's more of an 18th, 19th-century learning environment. We really want our kids to be in a modern tech-heavy, open spaces," Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul said.

Still, students say they shed a few tears but added the building is almost like a metaphor for the graduates transitions to adulthood.

"It's sad to see it go. But just like all the graduating classes: it's closing its doors and opening new ones," Putmon said.

Students will begin class at the new building in the fall. The building was bought by Sparrow for $2.5 million. Part of the purchase agreement was that they preserve the historical value of the building.

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