abandoned detroit school

Detroit School District Announces $700 Million Plan to Upgrade Buildings

  March 18, 2022

By Dave Lubach

The Detroit Public Schools Community District recently announced a $700 million plan to address aging facilities and new schools in Michigan’s largest school district. 

The Detroit News reported last month that the money is part of the district’s $1.2 billion federal COVID funding.  

The school district superintendent unveiled a 20-year facility master plan for the declining district that now includes 50,000 students and about 100 buildings, down from 250,000 students and 200 school buildings. 

This plan would pave the way for the district to spend the next five years working on buildings. 

“Access to federal relief funding provides us now with an opportunity to make a substantial short and long-term investment in our school buildings that paves the way to a broader investment plan to right-size the district and provide each employee and student with a school building they deserve,” superintendent Nikolai Vitti told the Detroit News. 

The $700 million is a start to address the many issues in the district. The report said that the district needs $2.1 billion to upgrade all the school buildings to a “good” rating. 

The plan breakdown includes: 

  • $296 million to renovate buildings with a focus on HVAC systems, roofs and masonry 
  • $281 million in new school buildings 
  • $117 million to reactivate or add new buildings to address enrollment 
  • $11 million to demolish deactivated buildings. 

Public meetings are scheduled on the proposal with a final recommendation set for June. 


Dave Lubach is the managing editor for the facility market. 


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