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DPSCD to hold community meeting to discuss which Detroit schools should receive renovations

Posted at 6:45 AM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 06:45:11-04

DETROIT, MI (WXYZ) — The community will have a chance to give their input on a new master plan to improve some of Detroit's most rundown school buildings.

The upgrades will cost the Detroit Public School Community District around $2 billion and can take up to 20 years to complete.

The district says it understands that this two-decade-long project is ambitious so they will start with a $700 million investment from their COVID relief funds.

The superintendent says they'll address the worst buildings first.

"I'm very excited about this because I feel like one of the best examples of the inequality that our students face every day is the quality of their facilities," DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said. "You don't have to go far outside of Detroit to see a difference in the quality of the buildings."

Last month the superintendent said the district's plan calls for $296 million in renovations. $35 million to bring long unused buildings back in the rotation and to help with their growing preschool population, and another $82 million to add new buildings on school campuses.

The district will also need another $11 million to completely demolish and deactivate others.

Vitti says he hopes the improvement will make the education experience more exciting for students and staff.

"I think that affects the morale of students, families, and employees when you're not going to work or school in a building that you know is not comparable to those outside of the city," he said.

Arguably the largest undertaking of the whole plan is the complete rebuilding of 5 schools: Cody High School, Carstens at Golightly, Phoenix Academy, Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy, and Pershing High School.

Specific building improvements include roof work, heating, cooling, new windows, and masonry.

Vitti is hoping the reconstruction brings the district back to its glory.

"It's like a lot of stuff that needs to be done," one Pershing freshman said. "It's a lot of stuff that's falling apart."

Currently, the total student population sits at 50,000 and is spread across 107 buildings.

Tonight's meeting is the second of 7 total. It begins at 6 p.m..

After community input is received, a final recommendation will be submitted to the board in May or June.