DETROIT – The Thompson Education Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan will fund the construction of a new public charter high school opening in fall 2010 on the Detroit riverfront, according to The Detroit News.
The $15 million science and math school will be located at the former site of Franklin Furniture, and will be affiliated with the existing University Prep Science and Math Middle school, The News reported. The middle school currently operates in the Compuware Building, but is expected to move to a new facility next to the Detroit Science Center.
Representatives of the Community Foundation, which contributed $1.5 million, said they hope the investment will spur redevelopment of the city’s far east side neighborhood, according to The News.
Former businessman Bob Thompson, who heads The Thompson Education Foundation with his wife, Ellen, once offered up to $200 million to create 15 charter high schools in Detroit, but was turned down, The News reported. Since then he has supported a series of University Prep charter school initiatives, including University Prep High School and the new science and math schools.
Speaking at the announcement, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he supports all forms of schools, according to The News.
“I’m for education. Period,” Bing said.
The Detroit News, “Mayor Bing gives support to charter schools,” May 21, 2009
Michigan Education Report, “Bob Thompson renews $200 million offer,” Dec. 15, 2005