School board considers updating elementaries

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By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing


The East Lansing School Board is thinking about improving some of its elementary schools’ buildings and facilities.

Glencairn Elementary School

Glencairn Elementary School

According to School Board member Nell Kuhnmuench, this possible proposal is still in the early stages of development.

Andrea Branoff is a mother whose children attend White Hills Elementary School. Although she was not aware of the possibility of improving the schools, she was quite interested.

“It’s an old building but they maintain it,” said Branoff. “It would be awesome if they could modernize it though.”

“It is an issue of significant interest, but there has not been a time set to make any decisions yet,” said Kuhnmuench.

However, the board has met with an architect and construction manager to discuss some details of what could be possibly done for the buildings and what could go into their proposal.

One possibility considered was the reopening of the Red Cedar Elementary School. Branoff said she would prefer improvements made within the existing schools rather than the re-opening of Red Cedar.

Olivia Hallac, who works at Glencairn Elementary School

as a before and after school aid, said, “It is always nice to update things and especially to do so if it would create a safer environment for students and teachers.”

The board has been looking into any possible issues with the elementary school buildings since 2009, with an update in 2010. In 2010 they looked into the overall aging of the buildings.

However, at this point no further details regarding budget or even an actual proposal have been constructed.

In February 2012 the school board attempted to pass a proposal to rebuild five of the six elementary schools, reconfigure the middle schools and to create a sixth grade wing at the middle school. This proposal was denied, however, according to Kuhnmuench.

At this point, the buildings are safe and well maintained, according to Kuhnmuench. The fact of the matter is they are not getting any younger, she said, and that’s why future renovations are being considered.

“There’s a lot of interest in looking at upgrading them even though the bond failed,” said Kuhnmuench.

Other unanswered questions are whether or not the buildings will be remodeled, rebuilt, or simply improved. The school board is certainly looking to create more up to date learning facilities for the students. It’s possible, but still uncertain, that decisions regarding these changes may be made in the Fall.

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