DETROIT (WXYZ) - Gov. Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and public schools emergency manager Roy Roberts announced a neighborhood revitalization program where schools would become community hubs.
Details on "Pathways to Potential" were released at J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy in Detroit where the pilot program will take place.
Home improvements were underway in the neighborhood near the academy. Hundreds of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, General Motors, and other groups pitched in to clean up, plant trees and flowers and spruce up homes in the area.
This took place in city's Morningside neighborhood in a half-mile radius around the school.
Detroit Public Schools Superintendent Roy Roberts says the project is mainly being done to make students feel safe when they walk to school.
"If one were writing the history of Detroit Public Schools, today would be the first pages in this hopeful chapter yet," said Superintendent Roberts.
It is expected to be expanded to other neighborhoods. Nine schools will be affected including Bagley, Baits, Bennett, Clemente, and East English Preparatory Academy.
"I actually have friends that told me about predators coming after them out of abandoned buildings," said students Johnisha Simmons.
"Now that they are cleaning them up i think that's a really good idea because it will attract more student to come to school… make them feel safe," said Asia Jefferson
"We are in the process of demolishing 15 hundred dangerous and abandoned structures throughout the city by the end of September. By then we will have demolished more than 6 thousand dangerous structures across the city."
The campaign is part of his goal of demolishing 10,000 vacant structures by the time his four-year term ends in December 2013.
This partnership with Detroit Public Schools, the governor's office, the Wayne County Treasurer's office, and Bing's office is helping to meet that goal.
"We need the citizens of Detroit and the young people of Detroit, the students of Detroit having better opportunities, better service and that's the exciting opportunity today," said Gov. Snyder.