Saturday, February 19, 2011

Save Cass

Diana Ross and Jack White's Detroit High School Set for Demolition

With a rundown Detroit high school set for a date with a wrecking ball, members of a lengthy list of prominent alumni are trying to save it.

The old Cass Technical High School building closed six years ago when its replacement opened next door. Over the years the now-abandoned building housed students including Diana Ross, Jack White and a veritable who's-who list of jazz musicians, including Alice Coltrane, Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Paul Chambers, Geri Allen, Ali Jackson, Billy Mitchell and Donald Byrd. Other famous Cass alumni include actors Lily Tomlin, David Allen Grier, Della Reese and Ellen Burstyn.

The school system, citing concerns over safety -- the building has been victim to regular trespassing and vandalizing since it closed -- plans to demolish it. Opponents say it's an easy way out of dealing with a historic building that could be converted to any number of uses, including an arts center, artist lofts or high-density housing.

According to Steve Wasko, a spokesperson for the Detroit school district, the fight to save the school is over -- because it never began in the first place.

The rest of the article here.

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