Traverse City Eastern Elementary Students Move to Different Building During Construction

A unique return from spring break Monday for Eastern Elementary School.

The TCAPS students and teachers are finishing their year in a different building, the International School at Bertha Vos.

It’s all because of a big reconstruction project.        

“It feels like home away from home.”

Eager elementary students filled the halls and classrooms of their new temporary home.

Third grader James Parvel says, “I walked in and there were so many people were screaming they were so happy.”   

While everyone is adjusting, this move wasn’t always part of the plan.

TCAPS needed to improvise after they got the timeline for the renovations at Eastern Elementary.

Principal Biz Ruskowski says, “We realized the magnitude of the job and needing to take care of some abatement issues so they needed that extra eight to 10 weeks, if you will, before they could be ready to deconstruct Eastern.”

It’s not ideal, but for some parents it’s a relief.

James’ mother, Kate Parvel, also works at Eastern as a librarian and says, “I was excited that our whole school community could stay together because I originally heard that some of us would go to one school and others would go to another school and I wasn’t really comfortable with everyone splitting up.”  

There will be some hurdles along the way.

Parvel says, “My son, he occasionally rode his bike with the Norte group or did walk to school Wednesday and I think we’re going to miss that for the time being.”

But everyone agrees in the end, their new two story building will be worth it.

Principal Ruskowski says, “We know temporarily we may have to drive a little bit farther to get here or set up things up a little differently but we know deep down that in 18 months we’re going to have a beautiful new building to continue that very strong family academic tradition.”

The new building will be ready by fall 2018.