Consultants to present possible school building options during May 15 meeting
Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education will hold a special meeting on May 15, 2023 to again hear from Fielding International. This time the consultants will present two different broad scenarios for how the district could address its school building needs.
The board’s May 15 meeting was regularly scheduled to be a Henry Ford College meeting. However, the location was changed so the board will meet for the second time that month at the district’s Administrative Service Center, 18700 Audette St., Dearborn. The meeting time is also being moved up to 6 p.m.
The Board still plans to hold its regular monthly district meeting on May 8.
In March, Fielding International presented its report to the Board of Education recommending that almost half of the district’s schools be replaced in the next few decades. The March 13 report said 15 of the 31 school buildings included in the report should be replaced because of infrastructure needs and because the buildings were not easily renovated to meet more forward thinking classroom designs.
According to the report, the top priority schools in alphabetical order are DuVall Elementary, Henry Ford Elementary, Howard Elementary, Lindbergh Elementary, Lowrey K-8, Maples Elementary, McDonald Elementary, Salina Intermediate, Whitmore Bolles Elementary, and Woodworth Middle. Other schools also recommended for eventual replacement include Fordson High, Long Elementary, Nowlin Elementary, Oakman Elementary, and River Oaks Elementary.
Fielding International has also created an interactive map with information about each of the schools in its report including condition, adaptability, current enrollment and projected enrollment.
The company’s April report is not expected to get into specific plans, such as exactly which buildings to replace and when. The report will present two broad scenarios, which could include alternatives ranging from repairing existing schools to combining multiple schools into new or expanded campuses. Very general cost estimates will also be part of the scenarios.
Residents and stakeholders interested in facility issues, including potential tax implications, are encouraged to attend the meeting or watch online live or later on the district’s YouTube or cable channels.
Dearborn Public Schools hired Fielding International last fall to conduct a 30-year facility plan. The idea was, in part, to help determine which school buildings may need to be replaced.
In the spring of 2022, a citizens committee called the Visioning and Infrastructure Planning Committee recommended the board go out for a bond on the November 2022 ballot to address facility needs in the district. The board requested a facilities study to provide a better understanding and a framework for long-term facility planning.
Information from Fielding International’s March 2023 report can be found on the district’s Facilities Planning webpage under the More Resources tab.