Mott Foundation grants $14 million to Flint Community Schools to help renovate Brownell-Holmes campus

This rendering shows The Cube built between Brownell STEM Academy to the right and Holmes STEM Middle School to the left.
The Brownell-Holmes campus project includes the construction of a new community hub, referred to as “The Cube.” This rendering shows The Cube built between Brownell STEM Academy to the right and Holmes STEM Middle School to the left. Image: Courtesy of Stantec

Flint, Michigan — The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation granted $14 million to Flint Community Schools to support renovations to the Brownell STEM Academy and Holmes STEM Middle School campus on the city’s north side.

Flint Community Schools also will utilize $26 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to renovate the campus, which, between both schools, serves more than 600 students in pre-K through eighth grade.

This images shows the current façade and the parkinglot located between the two school buildings.
The Brownell-Holmes campus is located off Oxley Drive with a parking lot dividing the school buildings. Façade work already has begun at Holmes STEM Middle School. Photo: Cristina Wright

“FCS leadership and the Board of Education prioritized the renovation of these two schools, and we’re happy that our additional support will help take this project from a building renovation to an exciting overhaul of the campus,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “This reimagined space will create an environment that is safer and more conducive to teaching and learning, and a campus that is energized and accessible to the community. Flint kids deserve a place that sparks their imagination and creativity each day.”

Campus improvements will include:

  • Upgrading the façade on each building.
  • Renovating the early childhood wing at Brownell.
  • Developing early childhood playgrounds in courtyards.
  • Developing a new elementary playground.
  • Replacing the running track.
  • Updating the football field.
  • Installing basketball courts.
  • Constructing a new community hub, referred to as “The Cube.”
  • Rerouting the parking lot to support traffic flow to The Cube and early childhood wing.
Overhead rendering of the Brownell Holmes capmpus showing the reimagined layout for the campus featuring the parking lots, athletic courts, updated running track, and a new playground.
The rendering above shows the plan to redesign the parking lots, add athletic courts, update the track and build a new playground. Image: Courtesy of Stantec

“Flint Community Schools has gone through a lot of change over the years, and we are excited to work together as a community to give our scholars a space they are proud to come to every day,” said FCS Superintendent Kevelin Jones. “This is just a start to what we can do for our kids and families, and we are thankful for the Mott Foundation’s support to enhance this renovation for scholars and the community in the Brownell-Holmes neighborhood.”

In addition to supporting school renovations, Mott Foundation funds also will be used to construct The Cube, a 5,000-square-foot building that can be used by students, staff or residents throughout the school day, as well as during extended hours on mornings, evenings and weekends. This flexible community space could be used for neighborhood meetings, adult education classes, recreational activities for all ages, services for seniors and afterschool programming. The Flint Center for Educational Excellence and the Brownell-Holmes Neighborhood Association will help support activities in The Cube.

A rendering showcassing a redesigned façade on Holmes building.
The rendering showcases the redesigned façade on Holmes leading to The Cube, which will include flexible space for students and residents. Image: Courtesy of Stantec

“Flint is the home of community education. Over the years, the community helped make those spaces of learning even more special. So special that we started naming our neighborhoods after schools, including our own Brownell-Holmes,” said Jeanette Edwards, Brownell-Holmes Neighborhood Association president. “And while I don’t know if it is causation or correlation, those schools being opened help to stabilize the neighborhood. That is why we are so excited about the renovations. They will help to stabilize our neighborhood for decades to come and give our young people a place that shows how we feel about them and their educational pursuits.”

FCS has developed a plan that would provide upgrades to Brownell and Holmes and has an ambitious goal of completing the renovations by the spring of 2025.

“This is a unique opportunity to not only renovate school buildings for Flint kids, but also to create a space where neighborhood residents will want to gather, learn and grow,” White said. “The Mott Foundation is pleased to help make this happen.”