Leland School to Host Open House for Community Members

"It’s everything I think we hoped it would be, and more." - Supt. Stephanie Long

A Leelanau County school is ready to show off their multi-million dollar project to the community. Leland School New Bldg

The Leland Public School is preparing for a Friday Open House where they’ll let the public take a look at the $25 (M) million in improvements to the recently re-opened school. That funding came from a voter-approved construction bond in 2018

It also comes as the district prepares to go back to voters to ask for their support for a Sinking Fund proposal.

Superintendent Stephanie Long says, “This project has taken a little bit longer than we had planned. But it’s turning out so beautifully.” Leland has a brand new school ready to show off to the community. “To everybody in Leland who voted for this construction bond, it’s wonderful to be able to bring them in and show them what their tax dollars have done for this community.”

It includes a brand new gym for competition and performances – and a new elementary space. Long says, “Between the new elementary and the new gym. We can’t wait to show it off. The gym is amazing. It’s going to be a performance competition gym. But it also… we’ll be able to get a lot of use out of that which is great.

“The elementary wing, with 17 new classrooms, and big wide-open gathering spaces. It’s such a beautiful concept that the classes really spill into the hallway. And so students have lots of opportunities for flexible learning,” Long adds.

Leland School SignJunior Leland Leiter is impressed. “I love it. It’s very new, very modern. I love all the windows, I love all the space. It’s great. There’s a lot more seating. It just feels really open and inviting.” Leiter says her only disappointment is that she’s too old to use the elementary space. “It’s definitely changed a lot. There is a little bit of jealousy there but I’m really happy for them. My brother’s in elementary and he loves it. But I have a whole year to enjoy the new gym. To walk through here seeing elementary students. A new cafeteria. It’s all really exciting.”

It’s a major upgrade for Leland – and it’s one that students like Luke Noorman are already enjoying. “I kind of pictured Leland as always being a little school and… now it’s big and its really exciting.” He’s especially looking forward to playing basketball in the brand new gym for his senior year.

Long says during construction everyone had to find new ways and new places to teach. “We just made use of every space we had. We have gathering spaces we turned into classrooms. We had conference rooms we turned into offices, and we took offices and turned them into classrooms. We just got creative and flexible to make it work.

“The construction bond they voted on in 2018 was specifically for this new build project. We demolished some older parts of the building and put in these new spaces,” Long says. This brand new building is a gift from the community and the voters that supported it. But it’s completely separate from a sinking fund measure – a ballot initiative that will be back before voters again in August, after it failed on its first attempt in May.  Leland School With Sign

“It’s what we need in order to just maintain our facility. When the roof is leaking we need to be able to replace the old roof. And we still have existing facility here.  It’s all the capital improvements and capital projects that have to happen, just to run a building. Regardless of whether you have construction or not. Things have to be maintained. Windows wear out. Sidewalks need to be replaced. It’s the money we gather to maintain the property. All of the property, from end to end, top to bottom. Anything that needs repair comes from sinking fund dollars,” Long says.

A ribbon cutting and community open house is set for Friday afternoon at 4:30. Community tours will run from 4:45-5:30 pm. For details Click Here.