LSD is selling Eastern HS to Sparrow

Posted: 7:57 AM, Jan 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-22 07:57:49-05

The Lansing School District is selling Eastern High School to the Sparrow Hospital Association. The Board of Education voted to approve the sale Thursday.

They're the right choice, says the Board President Peter Spadafore, because they will be good educational partners.

"It's all part of our pathway promise that's about creating those pipelines from Pre-K all the way to the professional world and college experiences," Spadafore said before the Board meeting Thursday. "Sparrow will be an integral part of that plan, and I look forward to seeing how those plans come to fruition."

One way the hospital plans to do that is to offer internships and other programs for students interested in biotechnology. The Lansing Pathway Promise is a program that allows students to choose to focus their education on the arts, science and technology, or an International Baccalaureate program.

"Our kids are ready," Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul said of the big step forward in the Pathway Promise program. "I've talked to them. They've told me they can't wait for new furniture and things like that. While there's a lot of historical nostalgia with regards to a place like this, I think the world and the community here is ready to move forward."

As part of the deal, the Lansing School District will still get to use the Eastern High School building for the next five years rent-free.

"We'll be there next year, we'll be there the year after," Spadafore said.

The next step for the district is getting a $120 million millage passed on May 3rd. That will pay for the construction needed to turn the current Pattengill Middle School into the new Eastern High School.

"We have to pass the bond, we have to start construction," Spadafore said. "We don't have space at our other schools to absorb that entire student population, so it's very important that we pass that bond."

Sparrow agreed to preserve the historical integrity of the building through its renovations.

The sale is not final yet. There's still some paperwork and inspections to be done.