Flint, MI—The Flint Board of Education has given the go-ahead to fix a water leak in Doyle-Ryder Elementary School’s roof, which officials say developed over the past two weeks. 

At an emergency meeting on April 6, 2023, the Board approved the Flint Community Schools district to move forward with installing new material at Doyle-Ryder to address a leak on the eastern side of its penthouse, costing a total of $43,750. 

According to Chris Henderson, the district’s director of operations and ancillary projects, addressing the water leak in a timely manner is critical, given that it could damage new walls that have been put in place, along with ceiling tiles and flooring that’ll be installed. 

“If we don’t stop it, we’re going to damage all the new materials that we’re putting into place, so that’s the reason why I said this is action that needs to take place,” Henderson said during the meeting. 

Doyle-Ryder students and staff are still expected to move back into the building for the 2023-2024 school year, Henderson told Flint Beat. 

Doyle-Ryder students in kindergarten through sixth grade are currently housed within Potter Elementary School, according to Superintendent Kevelin Jones. Further, he said pre-kindergarteners and some special education students of Doyle-Ryder are at Holmes and Eisenhower, respectively. 

Doyle-Ryder closed in late 2021 after mold was discovered in its classrooms. Following the closure, the district decided to not only fix the building’s issues with mold, but also to carry out a more comprehensive renovation of the school, which began in January 2023. 

Jones said Doyle-Ryder has lost some students since its building closed, but he expects that the renovation and reopening of the building will help boost the school’s enrollment numbers. 

A rendering of the second level of Doyle-Ryder Elementary School. (Image courtesy of a February 2023 presentation by Stantec and Clark Construction)

Previously, Doyle-Ryder had an open concept of classrooms without walls. But looking ahead, the building will include enclosed classrooms, new furniture, flexible collaboration spaces and renovated administrative offices, according to a February 2023 presentation by Stantec and Clark Construction, firms that are supporting the renovation project. 

Jones said he looks forward to seeing the completion of the Doyle-Ryder renovation project.

“I believe our community can expect some happy kids and happy staff,” Jones said. “When they go in there and they see it’s totally different than it was before, I think people are going to be very proud of the accomplishments of the Board of Education and Flint staff to get that done.” 

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...