Detroit Public Schools completes first renovation under $500.5 million capital improvement program

The $10.7 million renovation of John R. King PreK to 8 School, which includes a new black box theater, was completed in just over three months

Detroit-Detroit Public Schools today unveiled the first completed renovation of the 18 schools to be newly built or renovated as part of the district’s $500.5 million, Proposal S funded, DPS School Construction Project.

The $10.7 million renovation of John R. King PreK to 8 School, 15850 Strathmoor Street, began in late May 2010 and was completed in just over three months. The most extensive part of the renovation project is the new state-of-the-art 5,514-square-foot black box theater with dramatic overhead lighting for plays, recitals and concerts.

“Just three short months after the start of work on J.R. King, we are unveiling a completely renovated addition with a state-of-the art black box theater that will support the school’s performing arts-centered curriculum of student instrumental, vocal and dance performances,” said Robert Bobb, Emergency Financial Manager. “Thanks to our project manager, a small but focused DPS team, and local contractors who have worked quickly to prepare these facilities for returning and new students, we are proving we are moving rapidly to keep commitments made to our parents and voters.”

The John R. King PreK to 8 School renovation project included:

– New Rosa Parks Atrium
– New science and technology labs
– New playground equipment
– Painting, new vinyl composition tile flooring, new light fixtures in classrooms
– Installation of HVAC systems to provide air-conditioning in academic spaces
– New boilers
– Refinished gymnasium floor
– New PA / clock system
– New lockers

White Construction, a Detroit-headquartered firm, completed the work on the John R. King project.
“Our staff has enthusiastically embraced working with Detroit Public Schools this summer,” said Bernard White, president of White Construction. “As a Detroit-headquartered firm, we appreciate the opportunity to provide a completely renovated facility where the children from our community will have a school to enhance their learning environment which we can all be proud.”
Two more summer renovation projects, totaling $17 million for interior upgrades of Fitzgerald Elementary School and Marcus Garvey PreK to 8 School are also wrapping up this week for the district’s first day of the 2010-2011 school year Sept. 7. A second phase of construction will continue through the fall with the addition of a new gymnasium at Fitzgerald Elementary School, and the new Harambee Center at Marcus Garvey which will serve as a gathering place to support the school’s African-centered curriculum.
A total of 10 projects, totaling $180.4 million, started construction this summer in the district’s $500.5 million capital improvement program to build and renovate 18 schools and build a new DPS police headquarters and command center.
The improvement program also includes district-wide technology upgrades and security initiatives. All bond dollars will be spent within three years and all 18 schools will be completed by September 2012.
For more information on the DPS School Construction Project: www.dpsschoolconstruction.org.

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