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Focus Area

Transformative Project/Marygrove Cradle-to-Career Campus

The creation of a cradle-to-career P-20 educational continuum on the Marygrove Conservancy campus in Northwest Detroit puts quality education at the center of the surrounding neighborhood’s revitalization. With a $50 million Kresge commitment, and entailing an array of partners, the campus is anticipated to serve more than 1,000 students at full capacity.

The P-20 cradle-to-career educational continuum is being created on the 53-acre site of former Marygrove College, now overseen by the Marygrove Conservancy. Project partners include the conservancy, Kresge, University of Michigan School of Education (U-M SOE), Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), Starfish Family Services and IFF.

September 2019 saw the arrival of 120 ninth graders to launch the K-12 School at Marygrove, which will expand on an annual basis. DPSCD will operate the school facilities, as well as support the development of its curriculum and programming alongside the U-M SOE. U-M SOE will also provide a teacher residency programming on campus modeled on medical residencies. A $15 million Early Childhood Education center serving approximately 144 children has broken ground and is expected to open in fall 2021. IFF is the center’s developer; Starfish Family Services will operate the center and oversee wraparound services for students and families.

The Cradle-to-Career Campus

The P-20 Cradle-to-Career Marygrove campus builds on the legacy of Marygrove College, which operated on this site from 1927 until the closure of its last master’s and certificate programs in 2019. Marygrove emphasized service and social justice while serving many nontraditional college students – particularly African American women entering teaching and social work – and engaging positively with the surrounding community. The Cradle-to-Career project is giving new life to the property, centering youth and their families at the core of neighborhood community development. The Cradle-to-Career campus will offer strong education – prioritizing students from the surrounding area – as a positive force in revitalization. Kresge’s $50 million commitment to the project is the largest by any foundation in a Detroit neighborhood.