Historic Walter French Junior High building poised for new chapter

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LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The former Walter H. French Junior High School is poised to begin a new chapter in its historic life.

The Louis J. Eyde Family and the George F. Eyde Family have donated the former building to the Capital Area Housing Partnership.

That non-profit group plans to pursue a mixed-use redevelopment of the historic Lansing building, to include a variety of residential options.

“We are very excited by this generous donation and the prospect of transforming the Walter French building into a wonderful new place to live in Lansing,” said Mikki Droste, CAHP executive director,” said Mikki Droste, CAHP executive director.

CAHP officials plan to pursue funding available under a recently launched program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to create the development of workforce housing, accommodating individuals and families with incomes up to 120 percent of the area median income.

The former school was built in 1925 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015 based on its architectural significance and contributions to the field of education.

The National Park Service has said that the building is one of the largest and most decorative pre-World War II public school buildings in Lansing.

Lansing mayor Andy Schor said he supports the plans to save the Walter H. French building and working with CAHP and the neighborhoods of southeast Lansing to reactivate this property.

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