Flint’s Southwestern Classical Academy to undergo renovations this summer

$1.9 million grant from Mott Foundation will support building and campus improvements

Southwestern Classical Academy student
Southwestern Classical Academy students participate in an afterschool school activity in the school's gym. Photo: Cristina Wright

Flint, Michigan — As students at Flint’s Southwestern Classical Academy get ready to begin their summer break, they also can look forward to returning to an improved school and campus in the fall.

A $1.9 million grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to Flint Community Schools (FCS) will support planned renovations at Southwestern, which will serve as the main high school for the district beginning in the fall. The project, which is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2018-19 school year, will feature physical improvements to the building and surrounding campus, as well as the addition of a new security system.

“At Flint Community Schools, providing a safe and welcoming learning environment is critical to the education of our students,” said Gregory Weatherspoon, interim superintendent. “The upgrades slated to take place — made possible by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation — are sure to be celebrated by students, teachers and staff alike.”

Planned improvements include:

  • Installing security systems.
  • Painting.
  • Rebuilding student and staff restroom facilities.
  • Updating lighting, plumbing and flooring in the locker rooms.
  • Repainting and resealing the gym floor.
  • Remodeling the courtyard.
  • Repairing sidewalks.
  • Resurfacing the parking lot.

“The fact remains — there is still more work to be done to improve facilities districtwide,” said Weatherspoon. “In the meantime, these changes will go a long way in bettering the environment at Southwestern Classical Academy. We are grateful for the continued support the district receives from valued partners like the Mott Foundation.”

The project is the latest example of efforts by the Foundation and other local partners to help strengthen the education continuum for all children in Flint. These include increased access to high-quality early childhood education; a reimagined approach to community education that’s in place at every school in the FCS district; and YouthQuest, a comprehensive afterschool and summer program that serves more than 2,000 students annually.

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 in Flint, Michigan, by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the United States and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Education, Environment and Flint Area. In addition to Flint, offices are located in metropolitan Detroit, Johannesburg and London. With year-end assets of approximately $3 billion in 2017, the Foundation made 375 grants totaling more than $122 million. For more information, visit www.mott.org.

The Flint Community Schools (FCS) is an urban public school system with a long and rich tradition of community education. The district provides a range of academic, extended services and extracurricular activities to meet the needs of local students and their families. Its mission is to develop a community of learners that is prepared to live, work and contribute to an ever-changing society. To learn more about FCS and its various programs, visit www.flintschools.org.