Detroit Public Schools

Detroit, MI

Public Schools Renovation and Construction Program Management

In 2009 Detroit voters approved a $500.5 million Capital Bond Program to address the needs of its public schools, the 22nd largest public school district in the country.  The city had witnessed a 70,000 student decline in the past several years and needed a comprehensive rightsizing plan that aligned existing facilities with its present needs. B&D, along with Walbridge and Fanning Howey, was selected as program manager for all projects in this program which included the renovation of ten schools, the construction of eight new schools, and district-wide upgrades in technology, security, building envelope, and mechanicals.  As the management entity of the joint venture, we were responsible for oversight of: facility planning; budgets and cost controls; project delivery schedules; design standards development, designer selection, design review, and design oversight; overall program scheduling and management; project oversight and management; procurement management; community engagement and communications coordination; and project implementation.  In accordance with the bond covenants, all projects had to be completed within 30 months.  The team decided to use a modified design-build delivery method to meet this compressed schedule and all projects were delivered on time and budget while realizing a 20% savings across all projects.  Communities were involved at every step of the way through regular meetings.  A summer intern program ran during the program as well, with students working on the construction site. Because of the savings realized, many additional projects outside the original scope were delivered including: new security IT systems, $26 million in building stabilization efforts, an $8.5 million Public Safety Headquarters, content management of the Web site, and the Summer Student Worker Program that featured double the participation originally planned.  All in all, approximately 11,000 jobs were created through these projects.


Hiring Small Businesses for Large-Scale ProjectsPresented by Marcus Huff and Kimberly Dokes at the 2012 National Organization of Minority Architects Conference.

Made in DetroitPresented by Chris Dunlavey, Robert Bobb, and Ed Schmidt at the 2012 CEFPI World Congress on Educational Environments.

Getting Students to Work, for a LivingPresented by Rachel Lynn, Marcus Huff, Ed Schmidt, and Kimberly-Ann Valliere at the 2012 National School Boards Association Annual Conference.

Rebuilding the Urban School District: Using Program Management to Achieve SuccessPresented by Chris Dunlavey and Rachel Lynn at the 2012 CEFPI Northeast Region Conference.


Where Schools Are Change Agents


Reconceptualizing Design-Build for More Efficient Budgeting and Scheduling


In the News 

Detroit Public Schools Receives $500.5 Million in Federal FundingDetroit Public Schools (DPS) is receiving badly needed funding for its schools, thanks to a $500.5 million bond construction program funded by Proposal S dollars.


A Marathon Year for Detroit School ConstructionIt's been a marathon year for the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) Construction Bond Program and the Walbridge Joint Venture (WJV), program managers for the $500.5 million program committed to delivering 18 Detroit School projects in three years.


Detroit Holds Groundbreaking for 1st New SchoolWhen the dust dissipates and the mortar dries, Martin Luther King High School will have a new 21st century look.