The proposed revitalization of Southwestern High School is ON. Detroit's time-honored "this-is-actually-happening" ceremony was held behind the school yesterday afternoon, meaning officials praised each other while reporters squinted at propped-up renderings.
Here's what we know: The auto supplier next door, Sakthi Automotive, will buy and rehab the historic school for "offices, training and warehousing." But not all of the school will survive.
The 1921 portion (basically everything you see from Fort Street) will be saved, but most of the boxy rear addition (built in the late '60s) will bite the dust — with one exception. The gymnasium that produced former Fab Five/NBA star Jalen Rose will live on as a "benchmarking/testing facility." The basketball court floor (donated by Rose in 2006) will be partially saved and incorporated into the design. Inevitably, there's more: Sakthi is also constructing a "100,000-square-foot lightweight metal advanced casting facility" (shown in the renderings) in the space currently occupied by the track and football field. They're also grabbing huge buildings on either side of Southwestern, including a former Fisher Body factory and the old American Mailers warehouse, though there isn't any detail on the future of those buildings.
· There's a Real Plan to Revive Southwestern High School [Curbed]
· Press Release [City of Detroit]