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Alumni: Don't write Cass Tech obituary just yet

Demolition on Detroit’s historic Cass Technical High School has begun. But a dedicated group of alumni and supporters still hope they can pull off an eleventh-hour effort to save it.

Cass Tech was and is one of Detroit’s most prestigious high schools. Alumni include Diana Ross, Lily Tomlin, and Jack White of the White Stripes.

They also include Ray Litt. He’s chairman of the Cass Tech Alumni Association, and directs Cass Tech Development and Preservation Society, a non-profit dedicated to saving the almost century-old school.

Litt says he hopes to have a proposal to the school district by the end of the week to redevelop the building:

"It’s not a fait accompli. It’s physically a very sturdy building – terrazzo floors, plaster walls. Wonderful artwork on the face of the building. So there is much that can be reclaimed, and we have plans for it."

Meanwhile, others are planning a "funeral" for the school on Saturday. Organizers have created a Facebook page that promises "a small service and moment of silence for the former flagship and iconic school of Detroit."

The old Cass Tech High School building closed six years ago when its replacement opened next door.


Click hereto listen to Chris McCarus's story on NPR in January about Cass Tech's fate.


Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.