Abandoned Detroit elementary school set for emergency demolition after catching fire twice

DETROIT – The city of Detroit is set to demolish an abandoned elementary school this week after catching on fire twice.

The property owned by the Detroit Public Schools Community District has sat idle for over two months and will be demolished this upcoming Friday.

For 70 days now, Rosalinda Garza has had to look at this eyesore of a building that used to be the once thriving Frank Beard school that burned down back in July and was set on fire again in August.

“It’s still heartbreaking, especially when it’s another school closed. It’s sad, but when it’s burned and abandoned, it’s even sadder. You hear like sirens, so you just say what else is burning or something that’s been burning again,” Garza explained.

Abel Jones said it’s had a negative impact on the community.

“It’s hard to make your place look good when you got this next to it. It’s unfortunate it did burn down but it is what it is,” insisted Jones

Now thanks to the city stepping in with an emergency Demolition, the burnt remains are being knocked down this Friday. Detroit Demolition Department Deputy Director Tim Palazzolo said it’s part of the same reason why the historic Packard Plant has to come down.

“Our mission is to protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of Detroit Neighborhoods,” explained Palazzolo.

Detroit Demolition Department Director LaJuan Counts said It’s all being done to eliminate blight on a grander scale.

“We have over 300 commercial properties that we are actively looking into doing demolitions on. And then there’s another 400 or so that we are researching to see if they should transfer to the demo list or not,” said Counts.

“We want to eliminate blight in the neighborhoods around here. This is a great neighborhood. Obviously, there’s a lot of investments going on in this area,” said Palazzolo.

DPSCD will now be in control of what happens to the space. But at least for now, the future is bright.

“I’m glad to see the city moving on it and making our community better,” Jones added.

“It’s nice to see something new coming up, and something so beat up and so burned up to come down,” said Garza.

Local 4 will have footage of the demolition Friday.

About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.