Over the next 27 years, Detroit property owners will be on the hook to pay more than $437.8 million for renovations made to schools that now sit unused, trashed or demolished, a boon to scrappers and home to vagrants and feral cats.
Voters approved $2.1 billion in bonds in 1994 and 2009 to pay for capital improvements on Detroit Public Schools buildings and still owe $1.5 billion. Today, 110 of those buildings are empty or have been torn down, but Detroiters still have to pay for the $106 million spent on renovations plus interest, according to a Free Press analysis. They’ll be paying off that tab until 2040.
Meanwhile, they also still have to repay $331.8 million, plus interest, that was spent building or renovating schools that DPS is now renting out or has sold — mostly to its competitors.