Hastings built the first school on this site in 1852. It burned in 1871, and the second school was constructed. Hailed as a "landmark of progress." the new building served until 1930 when it was razed. Bricks from that structure were incorporated into the present school. A three-day celebration marked the opening of Central School in February 1931. Lansing architect Warren S. Holmes designed the building with the most up-to-date facilities. The kindergarten suite included a playroom furnished with a tiled aquarium, an electrical fireplace and sandboxes. Tile friezes of the animal kingdom decorated the room. The school also had a soundproof music room, a science room with plant growing boxes and a photography darkroom, and an auditorium with sophisticated stage equipment.