DPS fixes majority of code violations at school buildings

Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 08:16:10-04

On Monday, the city of Detroit announced that Detroit Public Schools has made major progress repairing once dangerous buildings.

This is a major change from just months ago.

It all started with a Fix My School Report. Teachers risked their jobs, speaking out on 7 Action News not only themselves, but the well being of children. They let WXYZ into Spain Elementary Middle School. They showed us how the building was falling apart, the roof leaking, and it smelled like mold.

The district’s former Emergency Manager Darnell Earley brushed off WXYZ’s questions about code violations, saying, “Code violations are nothing new to Detroit Public Schools.”

However Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan did not just shrug it off.

“I am glad you are shining a spotlight on it,” he told 7 Action News.

The mayor himself then responded, ordering safety inspections of all schools. It is something that used to be the district’s responsibility.

Inspectors found serious violations in numerous of schools, and the health department found lead in the water at some.

On Monday city and the district’s new leaders announced great progress.

“I am pleased to say today 86 schools have got certificates of compliance,” said Mayor Duggan.

That means only eight schools still have code violations. They include Breithaupt Career and Technical, Cody Schools, Detroit International Academy for Women, Emerson Elementary-Middle School, Mann Learning Community,  Sampson Webber, Turning Point Academy, and Vernor Elementary.

Work at these schools is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks to bring them into compliance.

District Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes warns that more repairs need to be done beyond meeting code. He says the bill passed months ago to keep the district out of bankruptcy didn’t provide enough funds.

“It’s $50 million short,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes said Gov. Rick Snyder has told him he will do all he can to pressure lawmakers to provide this funding to make repairs that will need to be done. 

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