By Jaylyn Galloway
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
On Jan. 20 the board voted to sell the high school to Sparrow for $2.5 million after the hospital outbid Capital Area Housing Partnership by about $1 million. The purchase didn’t seem to come as a shock to the students that attend the school.
“We knew it was coming,” Ericia Hoffman, a senior at Eastern, said.
The school is kind of old and is falling apart, Hoffman said. District officials plan to add onto Pattengill Middle School to make more room for all the students and re-open it as a new Eastern High, Hoffman said.
“When your school is breaking down, and falling apart the whole learning environment is different,” Amy Burns, the Administration Assistant for the College of Education and Human Development at Western Michigan University, said.
When you move students away from a broken-down school into one with state-of the-art equipment you see the differences on students faces, Burns said. It also changes the way teachers teach as they inspire the students as their spirits are uplifted, Burns said.
The selling of the school also stems from a ballot resolution called Pathway Promise sought by the board. 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. Voters would need to approve a bond issue supported by taxes to pay for it.
The bonds “can be a positive thing,” Robert Kolt, a spokesman for the school board, said.
The bond would support facility upgrades and improvements to the school, according to a school board news release.
The vote for the Pathway Promise Program is on May 3.
“The Lansing School District and Sparrow share a commitment to the Lansing community with many common interests, including the continued health, education, and economic growth of the area,” John Foren, a representative from Sparrow, said.
Sparrow will be giving out internships and provide training and education to students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.