Alumni respond to sale of Eastern High School to Sparrow Hospital

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The Lansing School District Board of Education unanimously approved the sale of Eastern High School to Sparrow Hospital this week. But even though officials are all on board, many in the community are not.

Thomas Berriman graduated from Eastern High School in 1999.

“I was a football player for four years, just memories of the band marching down the hallway on game days, and the memories of homecoming dances in the gym, going to basketball games in the field house,” Berriman said.

And Berriman says he’ll miss Eastern when it closes.

“You know when you spend for years of your life in a building making memories and friends that I still have and, and things like that – it’s going to be sad,” Berriman said.

The $2.4 million agreement will allow the school district to lease the building rent free for up to five years, as students transition to the new location at Pattengill Middle School.

One of the goals is to provide training and education in STEM courses.

Sparrow said in a statement, “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.”

Lansing School District Board of Education president Peter Spadafore says everyone is on board.

“I have received no objections. I have heard a lot of support from our alumni communities, our neighborhood communities,” Spadafore said.

But comments from some alumni on the WLNS Facebook page say, “I am very sad” and, “Don’t want to see it go.”

And Berriman understands what the school board is trying to do.

“We have to put our nostalgia aside and realize that the decision is, is what’s in the best interest for, uh, the future of the students,” Berriman said.

Memories for many – that will last a lifetime.

Spadafore says the plan to renovate Pattengill Middle School into the new Eastern High School will rely heavily on the passage of a millage proposal, set for May 3rd.

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