University Preparatory Academy

Detroit, MI

Project Overview

Developed in 2003 using Granger's systematized planning and assembly process, this five-building, 90,000-square-foot school campus provides high quality (uniquely economic) buildings that compliment the learning going on inside. 

Project Strategy

Utilizing the latest research on reduced life cycle building costs, reduced energy consumption and increased student and staff usability, these new buildings greatly compliment the goal of delivering quality education and enhancing the student learning experience. Natural daylight, advanced interior building controls, cutting edge technology and ergonomically correct furniture are a few of the important elements emphasized in this project.

Bob Thompson decided he wanted to leave a legacy in the City of Detroit. Bob wanted to make a difference in the Detroit school system. With the graduation rates falling to dismal levels, Bob committed to give away charter school facilities to charter schools who achieved a 90/90 rule. The 90/90 rule meant that 90% of the children graduate and 90% of the graduates went on to higher education.

Throughout the entire project, it was obvious that your team was personally committed and had their hearts in the job.  Your organization was attentive, accessible, and responsive to our needs, and this responsiveness proved to be invaluable.

Doug Ross, Principal, University Prep High School


In order to achieve these results, it was imperative the facility was not just a traditional old school. These kids needed “high-touch.”  Most of these children were fortunate if they had one parent at home. They required small classrooms to provide a low student-to-teacher ratio. In addition, the kids needed help in focusing their attention on the teacher, so the old wooden desk would not do.

Granger Group designed and developed a custom-tailored facility designed to meet the classroom needs of the students. In addition, Granger partnered with Herman Miller, internationally known for its ergonomic office furniture. Granger intentionally dematerialized the school to reduce construction cost to allow for additional expenditures on ergonomic seating for the students.  

Today, the school is known not only for its academic achievement, but also for the high design facility delivered at below market cost.