Community discusses proposal to cut Red Cedar Elementary School

About 100 community members attended an informational session Thursday evening to discuss a $53 million bond proposal that would close an East Lansing elementary school, among other things.

The proposal is scheduled to be on the ballot Feb. 28 and would renovate and reconfigure five of the six other elementary schools as well as close Red Cedar Elementary School, 1110 Narcissus Drive.

Jeff Williams and Trish Riley, members of the Committee to Support the East Lansing Public Schools, spoke in favor of the proposal during the forum held Thursday at East Lansing High School, 509 Burcham Drive.

Williams said he believes the bond will increase student achievement by updating district technology and increasing educational space for students.

“The community must address our aging elementary education structure,” Williams said during the forum. “We need to do it now.”

Michael Colaresi of the East Lansing Citizens School Forum raised concerns that there will not be enough students to fill the increased enrollment capacity passage the proposal would bring. He said during the forum he fears it will lead to closure of more schools and will put added pressure on the district.

“I don’t want to be faced with (closing more schools),” Colaresi said during the forum. “I think we need alternative plans.”

Mayor Diane Goddeeris and councilmember Vic Loomis were among those in attendance. Goddeeris said she believes forums such as these are important in terms of reaching a decision on the bond issue.

“This discussion about our schools is a key discussion in our community,” Goddeeris said. “This forum tonight was just a step to continue that discussion.”

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