Former Foch 65242fc652393

Detroit plans to raze former middle school that closed nearly 20 years ago

Oct. 9, 2023
Demolishing Foch Middle School would enable the district to expand the Southeastern High School campus, which is adjacent to the property.

A former middle school that has sat empty in Detroit for nearly 20 years is about to be demolished to make way for expansion of an adjacent high school.

Chalkbeat Detroit reports that the Detroit Public Schools Community District is seeking a contract to demolish the former Foch Middle School, which closed in 2004. The demolition would enable the district to expand Southeastern High School, which is adjacent to the property.

The demolition of the nearly century-old Foch is part of the district’s $700 million facility master plan to renovate, rebuild, reopen, or tear down its aging school buildings. 

“It is very much run-down," Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said. "It’s not worth the investment to renovate, and instead, the recommendation is to demolish this building in order to allow the construction of a new building on the property for career technical education that will be accessed by the Southeastern students."

Foch Middle School, in the East Village neighborhood, was built in 1924 at a time when Detroit was growing rapidly. The three-story, 117,058-square-foot building had an auditorium, library, two gyms, and a four-lane swimming pool. 

After the district reached a peak of nearly 300,000 students in 1966, Foch’s enrollment and enrollment in the district overall began to decline.

During the 2002-03 school year, Foch only had 406 students enrolled. The school closed the following year.  

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Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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