By Liv Larsen
Lansing Township News
Lansing Township — The Waverly School District has offered an old building to house a substance abuse program for women, and the program sponsor is waiting for rezoning approval.
Holy Cross Services Program Operations Director Sharon Berkobien gave a presentation on the possible future plans for the building if the rezoning approval is granted to the Waverly School Board at its meeting on October 20.
“Windemere View closed in 2011,” said School Board Treasurer Alan Wright. “It had been a K-4 elementary building…[we] chose to reorganize the district to address lower enrollment…and [Windemere] View closed. Since then [it] has sat empty. The board voted to explore selling the property this year, and almost immediately we were contacted by Holy Cross.”
This building would serve women ages 18 and up with any sort of substance abuse issues. These women are referred to Holy Cross Services by the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties, or CEI.
“[We] try and treat the whole person, and what we can’t treat, we work with other organizations. We wrap ourselves around the whole person,” said Berkobien, in order “to help that person rebuild their whole life.”
Holy Cross Services was informed by the CEI of the need for the program in the Lansing area, and so began the hunt for the perfect building that met the criteria they followed for its other buildings across the state.
“We look for schools, business [and] buildings that are no longer being used,” said Berkobien. “We want them on a bus line, some place to be outside in the fresh air, something that is close and accessible to different things.”
Berkobien said she “just stumbled across the school.”
Holy Cross is still waiting on getting the rezoning approval from the Lansing Township Board of Trustees before any of the renovating can begin.
“You never know how that’s going to go. I get it,” said Berkobien. “We’re looking at plan B in case it doesn’t work. Regardless, we’d like to be able to come to Lansing.”
Berkobien isn’t the only one is hoping to be able to remodel the old school.
“I think it’ll bring something proactive to the building that doesn’t currently exist,” said School Board Trustee Calvin Jones. “Everyone feels like they’re getting something out of it…it’s a good program, and as long as we have citizens that require this service, I think it’s a matter of providing a [place] where they can go.”