By Nakea Paige
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
The Lansing Board of Education has decided it wants to spend $120 million to update its schools. Now, it’ up to voters dot decide if they want to pay that tab.
The bonds were a major point of discussion at the Feb. 18 meeting of the Board of Education.
The president of the school board, Peter Spadafore, mentioned how happy he was that “they were finally able to come to a conclusion on the matter.”
“It was a long time coming, but we were able to finally bring this to a close,” said Spadafore.
Last October, board members unanimously voted to put the bond proposal for $120 million in front of voters. This money is set to go directly in to the local schools in which the majority of the money will go to renovations to schools.
This proposal will be set to be on the May 2016 ballot, giving Lansing residents a chance to vote on proposal. This would cost homeowners an annual tax of about $125, if approved by voters.
This money will be able to help students be able to have more opportunities so that they are able to better their education. Board members are hoping the community can see that after months of trimming and revising, that this is the best for students.
Being that Eastern High School was sold to Sparrow Hospital, students will eventually be moved to Pattengill Middle School and because of this, the board wants to renovate the school to fit the high school students as well as other schools in the district. The bond would pay for that.
One of the concerns with moving students and renovation buildings was the concern of where to continue to move the students. Moving Eastern students to Pattengill means moving students at Pattengill to another location, if there is one. Being that the bond is only for so much, other members wanted to make sure it was used efficiently.
When the proposal was first brought to light, a lot of people in the public wanted to make sure the money didn’t get wasted on building a new school instead of improving the ones the district already have.
Lansing resident, Jason Asarian mentioned his concerns with the renovating schools.
“If I am going to pay the tax in order for this bond to pass, then no, I do not want to see a new school get built. That just means another abandoned building occupying space when it can be put to use. There are ways to improve what you have, therefore you can have more to put in to other projects,” said Asarian.
Board members also mentioned that they also want to put more STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — programs in to schools, as well as improve athletic facilities, and other things to help improve the will for students to want to continue their education beyond high school.