DPSCD unveils $700M plan, which includes closing some schools

District continues to see a decline in enrollment

The money is all federal dollars, and the district is putting it into infrastructure, which includes shutting down, moving, and in some cases rebuilding more than a dozen schools. DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti is taking his show on the road when it comes to the new plan by doing a series of community engagement sessions to explain it while also receiving feedback.

DETROIT – The money is all federal dollars, and the district is putting it into infrastructure, which includes shutting down, moving, and in some cases rebuilding more than a dozen schools.

DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti is taking his show on the road when it comes to the new plan by doing a series of community engagement sessions to explain it while also receiving feedback.

“I thought the presentation was excellent,” said Sterling Brewer from Detroit. “Everything was presented crystal clear where the community got a clear understanding.”

“I think we still need to go back to the table and see if we can come up with some more solutions,” said Michelle Maxwell from Detroit.

The reaction was mixed Monday (March 14) night after the superintendents presentation; it’s one of seven community listening sessions DPSCD is doing to fully explain the plans and hear what the community thinks.

“Our goal in this facility plan is to protect neighborhood schools,” said DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti. “We believe that the anchor of rebuilding the district should be through its historic neighborhood schools.”

DPSCD has $700 million in one-time federal funds, which it wants to use to shore up its facilities. The district has released a 20-year facilities master plan with the breakdown looking like this:

  • $281 million for new buildings
  • $35 million to deactivate buildings for Pre-K
  • $269 million to renovate buildings.

The criteria used to decide what to close, renovate and build were based on factors like percentage of school in use, condition, and cost to bring it up to par and demographics like birth rates.

The district continues to see a decline in enrollment.

“We want to put every child and every employee in a better building, whether that’s a building they’re in or a building nearby,” said Dr. Vitti.

No final decision has been made, but expect the school board to vote by July-August.


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.