Detroit Public Schools opens schools for tours and updates in the $500.5 million capital improvement program

Contact: Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542; Cell: 313-212-5636;
or Jennifer Mrozowski at 313-873-8401; Cell: 313-401-9018;

Public tours and community meetings for five schools in the Detroit Public Schools’ $500.5 million bond construction program will be held this month to update parents, students, facility and stakeholders about the construction progress at the schools. The meetings are free and open to the public.

The community meetings and tours will highlight and provide overviews of $119.2 million in work progressing at two brand new pre-K buildings, one extensive renovation at a pre-K building, one extensive high school renovation and one total reconstruction of a high school.

The first community event is a hard hat tour of the new $20.5 million Gompers PreK to 8 School, 14450 Burt Road, will be held for the Brightmoor community Wednesday, March 9 at 4:00 p.m. The Gompers school is the first PreK to 8 facility under construction that is open to the public.

“It’s unprecedented that the construction manager and
the schools have walked so many parents and community representatives through school projects in progress. It has really aided participants’
ability to see what was shown in renderings come to life,” said Carol Weaver, program supervisor for the DPS Bond Construction Program.

Construction started on the new Gompers school last summer on the site of the former Harding Elementary School. The new LEED Silver Certified school will consolidate and replace three older buildings-Harding, Vetal and Gompers elementary schools-when it opens this fall.

Community meetings for four other schools in the bond construction program will be held this month. Attendants will have the opportunity to speak with design builder teams and view renderings, blueprints, and design features of the new and renovated facilities.

The five community meetings scheduled this month are:

– Gompers PreK to 8 School, 14450 Burt Road
Wednesday, March 9 at 4:00 p.m
Project summary: The new $20.5 million PreK to 8 school in the Brightmoor neighborhood will be located at the present Harding Elementary School site on Burt Road on the city’s west side. The new school will consolidate and replace three older buildings-Harding, Vetal and Gompers elementary schools. The existing Harding Elementary School and an annex building on the campus has been demolished to start construction of the new LEED Silver Certified two-story facility that will combine preschool students through grade 8 under one roof. A cafeteria, central administration office and multi-purpose room will separate the PK-5 and middle school wings. Classrooms designed for art and science programs will be located on the first floor of the middle school wing. The second story will house general classroom space and two common rooms with large windows for natural lighting. Students in preschool through second grade will be located on the first floor of the elementary wing with grades 3-5 on the second floor. An auditorium and multipurpose room will also be built for the younger elementary students.

– Henry Ford High School, 20000 Evergreen Road
Thursday, March 10 at 3:30 p.m.
Project summary: The $16.6 million renovation of Henry Ford High School will include an expansion of the existing student dining area and the addition of two sustainable technology labs. The electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems will be upgraded. An exterior courtyard will also be created to support green and renewable energy initiatives at the school. Security needs will be addressed through the renovation, and the overall building square footage will be reduced to match the building’s student capacity with enrollment trends.

– Mumford High School, 17525 Wyoming Street
Thursday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Project summary: The new $50.3 million Mumford High School is the largest school construction project in the district’s bond program. Planned to accommodate more than 1,500 students, the new 239,900-square-foot high school will be a LEED Silver Certified state-of-the-art facility. The building will offer academic core areas, a high-tech media center, modern science laboratories, and a community health clinic. The school will be built on the current athletic field.

– Bunche PreK to 8 School, 2175 Macomb Street
Tuesday, March 15 at 5:00 p.m.
Project summary: The existing Duffield Elementary School building is being renovated to incorporate the Bunche PreK to 8 program, for a total of $9.5 million. The existing facility is a large, sound structure with significant architectural value. Improved technology and classroom upgrades, including a new science lab, will support the academic focus of the school as a 21st Century learning environment. A centrally-located media center and project lab will be established on the second floor. A portion of the existing east wing will be demolished and replaced with a new, properly outfitted gymnasium. Food preparation areas will be expanded and modernized to support student dining needs. In keeping with the bond program’s focus on safety, the main office, complete with a new security suite, will be relocated in close proximity to the main entrance of the school.

– Munger PreK to 8 School, Detroit Public Library Conley Branch, 4600 Martin Street
Tuesday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m.
Project summary: Demolition began in January 2011 on the former Munger/Chadsey complex to make way for the new $22.3 million Munger PreK to 8 School in a thriving section of Southwest Detroit. The new school will include an elementary and middle school wing connected by a two-story “student arcade” that will function as a dining court, student center and school square. Bright, sustainable classrooms will line colorful corridors centered around an academic commons area and teacher work centers. The school is designed to accommodate between 850 and 1,100 students.

About the DPS School Construction Program
Detroit voters approved Proposal S in Nov. 2009 which enabled the district to access $500.5 million for school capital improvement projects. DPS received the sixth largest allocation in the nation. The improvement program also technology upgrades and security initiatives being funded with Proposal S dollars. To comply with federal guidelines, all bond dollars must be spent within three years and all projects must be completed by September 2012.

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