Nonprofit commits to remodeling one DPS school per summer moving forward
Detroit Public Schools’ Emergency Manager Jack Martin joined with nonprofit organization Life Remodeled, as well as dozens of partners, volunteers, donors and students, to kick off an unprecedented fund-raising initiative to radically transform the Cody High School campus by fall.
“Someone recently said to me, ‘Partnership is the new leadership.’ I believe that Life Remodeled and all if its supporters embody this philosophy and are true community leaders,” Martin said. “Given our current financial challenges, this extensive remodeling work could not be undertaken. We can’t thank Life Remodeled enough for their commitment and generosity, and urge anyone interested in helping Detroit Public Schools to join with us in this effort.”
As part of the initiative, Life Remodeled organizers pledged to secure funding and in-kind services to do painting, landscaping, window replacement, roof repair, electrical and plumbing repair, at least one classroom renovation, and installation of a new track and football field at the high school, which is located in northwest Detroit.
“We chose Cody High School for this project for two reasons: need and hope. There may be great need, but there is even more hope – which will be instrumental in sustaining the transformation of the school and the neighborhood,” said Chris Lambert, President of Life Remodeled. “We anticipate having over 10,000 volunteers, so we will undertake a very large-scale effort to remove blight and create beauty, establishing safe and inspirational pathways for kids traveling to and from school.”
Life Remodeled is a non-profit organization with a mission to remodel lives—one neighborhood at a time. That strategy includes remodeling a Detroit Public School each summer in order to create academic and athletic improvements, Lambert said.
The organization also aims to partner with local residents of each area served to remove blight in the surrounding neighborhood, and create safe and inspirational pathways to the school with the goal of sustaining and building up a neighborhood that radiates hope to the rest of the city. For the 2013 Life Remodeled Project, the organization exceeded its goals and built a brand new home, boarded up 253 dangerous houses, beautified 65 blocks and renovated 36 homes in 6 days, with help from over 5200 volunteers.
“We couldn’t be more thankful for this make-over project and the investment that these wonderful Life Remodeled partners and other organizations have committed to Cody High School,” said Michelle Parker, principal of the Medicine and Community Health Academy at Cody.
“In the past three years, Cody has undergone a true make-over of its curriculum and now houses three top-notch academic programs in the building,” she said. “With that investment, we are making great strides in our academics and graduation rate, but now it’s time to have a building that matches our high expectations and supports our rigorous curriculum.”
“We believe 2014 will be bigger and better, but we need the support of the entire metro Detroit community,” Lambert said.
In addition, Life Remodeled plans to renovate up to 20 student homes in the surrounding area and demolish at least 10 burned houses. Nearby Mann and Henderson elementary schools are also scheduled to receive light “facelift” projects.
“We are honored to be serving with Detroit Public Schools, the Governor’s Office and the City of Detroit,” Lambert said. “All of these entities – working together – are excited about Life Remodeled and the leadership role we are taking to make a difference in a deserving neighborhood.”
The project is expected to kick into high gear August 11- 17, culminating in a celebration on August 17. Life Remodeled is seeking people who are interested in being leaders, as well as donations of materials and labor.
Go to www.LifeRemodeled.com for more information and to see a video recap of the Detroit 2013 Project.
Documentary trailer: https://vimeo.com/88719906