NEWS from Detroit Public Schools
Office of Public Relations

Contact: Steve Wasko
313-873-4892 or 313-212-5636

Editors Please Note: Media representatives are welcome and encouraged to attend the reopening event at the fire damaged Bennett School. Tours and interviews are available.

The Metro Detroit community is invited to come to Bennett Elementary School on Friday, August 29th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. That’s when students, staff and friends of Bennett will celebrate the reopening of their building located at 2111 Mullane in Southwest Detroit. The school has been closed since the fire in the building on December 26, 2007. However, the Bennett spirit has been kept alive and well by staff and students who were immediately moved to Boynton School for the remainder of the school year while repairs and renovations were made to the damaged building.

The fire burned two classrooms and mechanical equipment; however, the extensive smoke damage throughout the building called for massive clean-up and repairs. The Detroit Board of Education approved the project and the work began that would keep the Bennett doors open. The $4.8 million project, completed in just nine weeks, provided major upgrades, including installation of a new air conditioning and heating system, all new lavatory fixtures, roof upgrades and security for staff parking, among other things.

After the fire, there was an immediate outpouring from the surrounding area in support of making the repairs. “Community involvement was extremely important, from the very first town hall meeting in January where the expectations of a completely restored and upgraded Bennett were established, to the selection of color combinations for all of the interior finishes,” noted Detroit Public Schools Chief of Facilities, Maintenance and Auxiliary Services Nathaniel Taylor.

Friday afternoon’s program will be buzzing with child and adult activities including large inflatable bouncers, face painting, balloons, dancers, a mariachi band and refreshments. There will also be a short program featuring District and local representatives, along with representation from the design, construction, and restoration companies that worked on the project

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