Parents, students check out Pattengill Biotechnical Magnet School on first day of school
Lansing State Journal. RJ Wolcott. August 27, 2018.

Packs of parents with children in tow descended upon the new Pattengill Biotechnical Magnet School Monday morning for the first day of school.

Aaron Tucker escorted his two children, Joshua and Madison, a fourth-grader and a kindergartner, respectively, past the building's new entryway and drop-off area.

"I'm excited they were accepted here," Tucker said, adding that the school's focus on biotechnology was something he missed out on as a student.

"It's something I want to instill in them," he said.

At its most basic, biotechnology is technology that uses living systems or organisms for a specific purpose.

Pattengill is the first major renovation project funded through the district's successful 2016 millage. The former Fairview Elementary School received a new wing of classrooms as well as project labs and a gymnasium at a cost of $16.3 million. It'll host students from pre-K to sixth grade this year.

Janice Marchal, Pattengill's principal, stood outside the building answering parent questions while some students ran up for hugs.

"I'm excited about all the possibilities," she said about the reopened specialized school.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the district's millage request of $120 million in May of 2016. Across East Saginaw Street from the new school, the former Pattengill Academy is in the midst of a renovation that'll transform it into the new Eastern High School.

Nino Rodriguez, vice president of the Lansing Board of Education, was among the community members greeting families on the first day of school.

"It's a family celebration to come to this building that the community gave them with the bond," Rodriguez said. "We thank (the community) for that."

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