Demolition of the former Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School has begun, with excavators on site today, tearing down the administration and science lab wings in the first phase of demolition. It will take about four weeks to raze the 230,000-square-foot school that was built in 1963.
One of the largest projects in the Detroit Public Schools’ $500.5 million bond construction program voters approved in 2009, the MLK project includes razing the 48-year-old building facing Lafayette Street. The auditorium of the former school will remain in use. The new school, complete with a new athletic complex and cyber café, will connect to the auditorium that is receiving upgrades that include interior finishes and systems.
The new $46.4 million facility will face Larned and McDougall streets with the focal point being the glass façade of the MLK Center which will house the cafeteria and a small amphitheater for student assemblies. More than 1,000-square-feet of 4ft. by 8ft. Vision glass panels have been installed to the commons area to capture the largest amount of natural light and make the LEED Gold-certified building more energy efficient.
Jenkins/Granger, a 49% Detroit-headquartered firm, is the design builder for the MLK project. TMP Architecture is the architect.
Construction of the new MLK school began in Summer 2010 and will be open for students in 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 includes 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 Sept. 2012.
Since work began just over a year ago in one of the city’s largest construction projects that will build and renovate 18 Detroit Public Schools facilities, nearly 500,000 hours have been logged by workers employed by Detroit-headquartered companies at 14 active job sites. Four school projects are 100 percent complete where students spent their last weeks of this school year in modernized classrooms, gymnasiums and theater rooms.
By the start of school in the fall, nine more schools will open for the city’s schoolchildren, and demolition of the nearly 90-year-old Cass Technical High School will be complete, for a combined total of $325 million in construction-related spending funded by $500.5 million Proposal S dollars voters approved in 2009.