After being vacant for a couple of years, a former middle school building in Lansing is being put to use again.

After being vacant for a couple of years, a former middle school building in Lansing is being put to use again.

The building is now home to Lansing Intermediate School, which serves students in grades four and five.

The intermediate school, which is located at 509 Ida St., had its first day of classes Aug. 14.

Fourth- and fifth-grade classes in the school district previously were housed at Lansing Elementary School.

Moving the grades to the intermediate school frees up space at the elementary school. And the intermediate school also has room to expand, said Sue Anderson, principal of the intermediate school.

“Having the space has been fabulous,” Anderson said.

She said the gymnasium at the former middle school is “huge.” She said not many elementary schools have gyms of that size.

The intermediate school has 384 students.

Anderson said the transition of moving the fourth- and fifth-grade classes from the elementary school to the former middle school building has been smooth.

Anderson said students who were third- and fourth-graders were able to tour the former middle school building during the last school year.

The building that now houses the intermediate school had been vacant since middle school classes were moved to their current location at 220 Lion Lane in 2016.

The former middle school building on Ida Street was constructed in 1997 at a cost of $10.8 million.

According to Superintendent Darrel Stufflebeam, the school district spent about $289,000 to prepare the building for its reopening as the intermediate school.

One of the changes made to the former middle school building is a security entrance.

When the building was a middle school, people passing through the main entrance could enter into a commons area.

But now, visitors have to be buzzed into the school’s office before they can access other parts of the building.

“Everybody has to come through the office,” Anderson said.

Playground equipment also has been added at the intermediate school. Anderson said a second phase for the playground will be completed for the next school year.

Anderson said the Lansing Intermediate School shares physical education, music, art and computer teachers with Lansing Elementary School. The two schools also share nurses.

A parent-teacher association that previously was established at Lansing Elementary School now also serves the intermediate school.

Anderson said the school district’s LINCS program also is located in the intermediate school building. But the special education program operates in a separate part of the building, and people in the program use a different entrance.

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