For continuing operation and investment in J.W. Sexton High School at 102 South McPherson Avenue in Lansing, Michigan throughout 2012 and beyond:
We, the undersigned residents in the City of Lansing, Counties of Ingham and Eaton, State of Michigan and/or students of the Lansing School District respectively petition for the following:
1. Commit to continue operating J.W. Sexton H.S. at 102 McPherson Ave. Lansing, MI 48915 into the 2012-2013 academic year.
2. Delay any decision on any proposal involving high school building closures prior to January 31, 2013.
3. Commit to a process going forward that includes input from the appointed or contracted superintendent of the Lansing School District, the City of Lansing and the Save Our Sexton Campaign beginning immediately.
Arguments for these requests include, but are not limited to:
a) The District has not made its case to the voting public to decide on a right-sizing plan that includes closing either Eastern or Sexton HS in this academic year.
b) The District is in the process of hiring a new superintendent, with three new Board members freshly appointed in January 2012.
c) The BOE has commissioned four studies of the feasibility of reorganizing, redistricting, or right-sizing the Lansing School District since 2002. The recommendation to right-size has been previously proposed, as recently as 2008.
d) The BOE has not demonstrated the cohesiveness, boldness or transparency needed to responsibly navigate this process without a hired superintendent in place.
e) The condition of the existing facility at Sexton is much better from a life cycle cost value. The level of investment required to secure the services of the facility over the next 20 years is much less at Sexton than at Eastern. Given the age of the facility, the cost to ensure Eastern is functional for the next 20 years would be an irresponsible investment as you determined with the demolition of the former Pattengill Jr. High of similar vintage and condition.
f) The Capacity of Sexton is greater than Eastern, and the ability to expand capacity in the future would be much easier at Sexton than at Eastern.
g) The prior investment in the athletic facilities and ability to meet the current and future needs of athletic programs is more easily met at Sexton.
h) Current academic success rate at Sexton exceeds that of Eastern (although the performance of both schools is below an acceptable standard and student retention must be a requirement of any solution).
i) The exit strategy for Eastern has much more financial opportunity for LSD given the proximity of Sparrow and their potential growth over the next 20 years.
j) The elimination of the Verlinden plant and Sexton HS in the same neighborhood would have an inordinate negative effect on the neighborhoods in the surrounding areas.
k) Historic tax credits, redevelopment initiatives, and other public private partnerships are tools that make the adaptive reuse of the Eastern Campus a very feasible initiative that enhances the districts exit strategy for the school over and above that for a vacant Sexton HS.
Signatures in support of these actions will be submitted to elected and appointed officials and other staff of the Lansing School District.
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