New athletic gym completes $8.4 million renovation of Bethune-Fitzgerald Academy

An $8.4 million renovation of Bethune-Fitzgerald Academy, 1845 Puritan Street, that includes a brand new 10,100-square-foot athletic wing addition, equipped with a 10-foot climbing wall, is complete. The Bethune-Fitzgerald project, finished in just eight months, is the second school to be 100% completed under of the DPS School Construction Program funded by voter-approved Proposal S dollars.

The new 10,100-square-foot gymnasium addition includes:
– A 10-foot climbing wall
– 6 basketball hoops: 2 for full-court play and 4 additional for half-court play
– Electronic scoreboard
– Bleacher seating for 200
– Finished wood flooring with stanchion poles for a volleyball court set up
– Locker rooms with shower facilities
– Air conditioning.

“It is apparent that Robert Bobb and his administration realized the needs that existed in this district,” said Principal Melissa Scott. “We want to thank them all for their support and quick response as it relates to our new gym. It will serve as a Beacon of light in this community and satisfy some of the health and safety needs that exist for our children and this community.”

Other renovations to the $8.4 million Bethune-Fitzgerald project include:
– Two existing classrooms on the second floor repurposed as a media center
– A new parents’ area and additional classroom space
– A reception area and conference rooms for the administration offices
– A teachers’ lounge
– A remodeled main entry vestibule for a secure point of entry for the school
– Roof repair, lighting upgrades, floor replacement, exterior lighting repairs, HVAC and electrical system upgrades
– A new parking layout with additional spaces.

“This $8.4 million renovation of Bethune-Fitzgerald Academy, which includes a new 10,100-square-foot athletic wing addition, a 10-foot climbing wall, a new media center area, new secure entrance and classroom spaces, new parents’ and reception areas and more, was completed in just eight months, demonstrating that our bond construction work continues at rapid pace across the district. We are delivering our promises to Detroit voters to quickly and efficiently create Centers of Excellence so that our children have all the resources they need to succeed,” said Emergency Financial Manager Robert C. Bobb.

“Like the John R. King PreK to 8 School renovation, which is equipped with a new state-of-the-art black box theater, and the programs at Marcus Garvey Academy and Dixon, this school also shows how school consolidations can be very successful at retaining strong programs and creating new ones,” Bobb said. “That’s a credit to the hard work of Principal Melissa Scott, the parents, staff and solid community partnerships, like those with Hartford Men United “Ministry of Presence,” and City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown’s entire office, which has adopted this school and shared a plan to wrap the whole school in services.”

Jenkins Construction Inc., a 100% Detroit-headquartered firm, was the design builder for the Bethune-Fitzgerald project. SDG Associates was the architect.

Renovations to the interior and construction of the new Bethune-Fitzgerald gym addition began in July 2010 and is the second school to be 100% completed under the bond construction program. John R. King PreK to 8 School, equipped with a new state-of-the-art black box theater, was completed in early September.

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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