K-8 $62 million renovation and reconfiguration

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By Daniele Owens
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

The East Lansing Board of Education evaluated the proposal to spend up to $62 million to renovate the current facilities and construct additional buildings. The $62 million would include technology upgrades such as new computers for students and staff.

On August 17, there will be an open meeting to talk about the K-8 facilities in further detail. The meeting will be located at the Administration Building in the Board Room at 841 Timberlane, East Lansing, MI, 48823. It will start promptly at 5:30 pm.

The architects and the Clark Construction Company will be there to review the relative options. The cost, recommendations and different sites will be discussed to figure out which ones will be faster or compatible with current options.

There are four reasons why they are considering the change in the K-8 set up.

“At this moment our old bonds will expire and we will need to insert new bonds. If we are approved to extend the bonds, we will have an influx of money and the voters will have the same tax rate,” said Dr. Rima Addeigo, the president of the board of education.

She said that if they do expire, and new ones are in place, taxes will go up and the board will have to ask and receive the money from elsewhere.

The second reason is because the some of the buildings are old and certain areas can be renovated. Addeigo said that there is an English as a Second Language class that is taught in classroom, that used to be a shower.

“We are spending a lot of money to maintain the old buildings.” She explained that is taking a toll on the school district.

With that being said, “It would be more efficient to have fewer schools and that lowers operations cost.”

She said that it is estimated that the school district would save $200,000 to $300,000 for every building that would close. Also, she mention that other districts have saved $350,000 to a million dollars a year with school closings.

Though no decision has been made, the board wants to further explore the following options: 4 K-5 buildings and 1 6-8 building, 4 K-4 buildings and 1 5-8 building, and 4 K-6 buildings and 1 7-8 building.

Addeigo stressed that “there is no normal configuration.” She said that there are many around the state. But which ever they pick it will be a well-made decision and the students will be successful.

Click on the hyperlink to view the video from last school board meeting: July 18, 2011.

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