Detroit—More than 800 students, parents, teachers, staff and community members of Amelia Earhart Elementary Middle School celebrated the completion of their brand new $22.2 million school, located at 1000 Scotten Avenue in Southwest Detroit, by releasing 100 blue and white balloons representing the school’s colors during a special outdoor assembly Nov. 3.
Amelia Earhart is one of three brand new Detroit Public Schools built from the ground up in just 14 months. It is one of nine schools that opened to students in September in the largest grand opening of facilities in one of the city’s largest construction projects to build and renovate DPS facilities with voter-approved $500.5 million Proposal S dollars.
Two blocks away is Western International High School which received $28.3 million in renovations, totaling $50.5 million in construction and upgrades for more than 2,000 DPS students in Southwest Detroit. Amelia Earhart serves 800 students in preschool through eighth grade.
The 45-year-old former structure and outdoor portable classrooms were torn down last summer to build the new 111,090-square-foot PreK to 8 school overlooking Clark Park in Southwest Detroit. Construction of the new facility was completed in 14 months.
The new school has separate elementary and middle school wings with shared common space for the media center and library, cafeteria, administration office and multi-purpose rooms. Classrooms designed for art and science programs are located on the first floor of the middle school wing. The upstairs classrooms also feature large windows to bring in natural light. Students in preschool through second grade are located on the first floor of the elementary wing with grades 3-5 on the second floor.
Extensive renovations were also done at Marcus Garvey Academy, Beckham Academy, Bunche Elementary Middle School, Denby High School and Henry Ford High School. Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School, Samuel Gompers Elementary Middle School and Amelia Earhart Elementary Middle School are brand new facilities built from the ground up in just over one year.
Detroit voters approved Proposal S in November 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 September 2012.