School district moves forward with facilities master plan in Eastpointe

By: Maria Allard | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published July 2, 2024

 Eastpointe Community Schools is moving forward with its facilities master plan.

Eastpointe Community Schools is moving forward with its facilities master plan.

File photo by Erin Sanchez


EASTPOINTE — Eastpointe Community Schools will move forward with its facilities master plan.

The long-term facilities master plan is a blueprint to guide the development and management of the district’s buildings and infrastructure over time.

Earlier this year, school officials entered into a partnership with the strategic consulting firm Woolpert to address declining enrollment and underutilized school buildings.

At various community input sessions, Woolpert offered five potential options for facilities master plans. School officials also sought input from the public.

At the June 24 Board of Education meeting, the school board voted to move forward with the “facilities master plan - direction setting.”

School Board President Jon Gruenberg made a motion that the district keep the Early Learning Center as a stand-alone program with a location to be determined and make the four elementary schools grades K-5. His motion also stated to have two separate buildings on the same property with one building as a middle school for grades 6-8 and the second building as a high school for grades 9-12.

“Separate buildings, I have to stress that, but they would be located on the same piece of property,” Gruenberg said. “You can call it (a) campus, same piece of property, whatever you want to call it. So they would be on the same piece of property, yet they would be two separate individual buildings.”

The motion passed 6-1 with Trustee Addie Richardson voting against it. During the meeting, Richardson asked about the closeness of the two buildings on the same property.

“Would they be next door to each other or will there be some space?” she asked. “Where would they be?”

“That will be determined, but they would be on the same property,” Gruenberg said. “We won’t be approving a location right now. We’re just going to approve the fact that they will be on the same location, separate buildings. How far apart and that discussion can go in the future.”

Superintendent Christina Gibson said the district team will need “about a year” to work through a location.

“We don’t have the details worked out for that piece, Trustee Richardson. Our team is going to start the joint commission with the city and begin having some of those conversations,” Gibson said. “I think what I hear (the) board president advocating for … is the six through eight and the nine through 12 need to be geographically separated as much as possible.

“If we demand that they be separated, I want to remind you that is the status quo of what we currently have, and the district will not see long-term savings. We need to reduce our footprint and we need to deal with a very large high school campus and an underutilized middle school,” Gibson said. “So setting this direction of having a pre-K program, four K-5 buildings and then having a unified campus then cues our team to begin having all of those detailed conversations. Will it be a new location? Will we renovate the old high school? We don’t know those pieces but at least this helps us set a directional course instead of staying stagnant.”

The district’s four elementary schools are currently split up by grade level. Bellview and Pleasantview are grades 3-5 and Crescentwood and Forest Park are grades K-2. The district’s Early Learning Center is where preschool programs are held. There also is Eastpointe Middle School, Eastpointe High School, the 8th Grade Academy, and Eastpointe Alternative Center & Virtual Academy.