DETROIT-The 32-acre former Sinai Hospital site is being redeveloped as a new high school for the Detroit Public Schools. The district bought the property, with the vacanthospital still on the site, from the Detroit Medical Center for $4 million almost a year ago, notes Robert Francis, district director of capital improvements.

The property had been set aside for use for new housing until the district purchased the property to build a new Renaissance High School at McNichols Road and Hubbell. The school and various other buildings will cost about $110 million to build, Francis tells

“We’re in the process of demolition right now at the Sinai site,” he says. “Along with the new high school, we’re also building a facility for all the medically fragile students in the district, that’s about 339 students.”

The district is paying about $6 million to tear down the hospital. The current Renaissance High School nearby will be renovated, he says, into a foreign language immersion and cultural studies academy.

“This will be a place where four languages are taught from kindergarten on,” Francis says. The school will serve from kindergarten to eighth-grade students.

Other projects funded by the $110 million on the site include a new powerhouse, new parking structure and athletic fields as well as renovations to buildings such as the Randolph Vocational/Technical Center.

The new Renaissance school will serve about 2,500 students, Francis says. The entire complex should open by 2005, he adds.

Francis reports Sinai already cleaned up surface contamination of the property and the hospital. No contamination has been found in the ground, Francis says.

The Downtown Sinai Hospital, a powerhouse medical center in the latter half of the 20th century that served many of the area’s Jewish population, has been closed for three years.

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