Eastern High School, Lansing’s oldest high school, may be closing down soon.
According to an article done by Kathleen Lavey in the Lansing State Journal, Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul said that it will not close at the end of the 2014 school year, but its future beyond then is uncertain.
“Keeping Eastern open as a comprehensive high school is not feasible financially,” said Canul. “We don’t have the population for four high schools.”
Matt McClintic, the Deputy Treasurer of Lansing Township and member of the 1990 graduating class, feels that it is time to close the school.
“I think they should close the school,” said McClintic. “It isn’t safe for students and faculty. It isn’t a modern high school.”
The high school opened in 1901 and currently houses both junior high and high school students. McClintic said that after they closed the junior high school, it was discovered the building contained asbestos, a cause of lung cancer.
“I know I have asked myself, do I want to send my kids there?” said McClintic. “It’s a nice old building, but I wouldn’t send them there because of the safety concerns. I would want them to go to East Lansing High School.”
Other former alumni of Eastern High School have pledged their support to keep the high school open. Joe Herr DeRose wrote a letter to the editor of the Lansing State Journal, but the letter wasn’t published. In the letter, he said, “I hope that the board takes a very long and hard look themselves at the magnitude of their decision before taking any type of vote on this monumental decision. This decision will not only affect the School District and Students at each and every school in the district in one way or the other due to the need for redistricting, but will also greatly affect property values.”
DeRose also started a Facebook group to oppose plans to close Eastern High School, and it has more than 1,000 members.
Current EHS Principal Donna Pohl preferred not to comment on the status of Eastern High School at this time.
Famous alumni of Eastern High School include Jay Vincent and Sam Vincent (former NBA players), Kip Miller (former NHL player) and former Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kevin Jackson, the current wrestling head coach at Iowa State University.
— Jacque De Witt