DETROIT-A nearly $80-million Federal Reserve Bank building project is progressing on schedule, the manager of the facility reports. Glenn Hansen, manager of the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, tells this week that work on the vault is now taking place.

Hansen was speaking at an event to celebrate the start of Smart Money Week Detroit, a series of financial seminar and other educational events the bank helped organize.

The bank system is building a $79.5-million, 220,000-sf facility on the edge of the city’s Eastern Market. The facility is to be open for business in September 2005, at which time the bank’s current home in the city’s CBD–used by the Fed since it was built in 1926–will be put on the market.

Hansen says work is under way on preparing the vault–with 36-inch thick steel reinforced concrete walls. Hansen says the floor of the vault alone will require 110 truckloads of cement.

Hansen also tells about a project being developed by the Junior Achievement organization at its Detroit office, on Larned in Downtown Detroit, next to the Opus One building, called Financial Park. Hansen, who is also the president-elect of JA of Detroit, says JA will provide educational curricula to eighth-grade classrooms in the region on the basics of balancing a check book, applying for a loan, paying bills and taking out a mortgage.

The students can then spend a day at Financial Park, where various offices will be set up where the students have to perform those functions. They’ll be graded on their fiscal abilities and get a report that can then be further digested back in the classroom at school. “Detroit is the fourth market that JA is rolling this in,” Hansen says. “I think this is going to be a tremendous tool for those schools and students that take advantage of it.”

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