Building for Impact: Marygrove Early Education Center


Throughout the decades, and in communities across the U.S., the many buildings Barton Malow has helped build have also been a source of enormous pride for team members. And the connection between each project and the community it’s in is an important reason team members consider Barton Malow such a special place to work.

With a culture based on people, projects, and communities, pride goes well beyond glass and steel to the true impact each project has on the community.

Marygrove Early Education Center Groundbreaking

Marygrove Early Education Center Groundbreaking in Detroit, MI - Fall 2019

Building Impact Through Education

Located on the Marygrove Conservancy campus in Northwest Detroit and opened in 2021, the Early Education Center was built to fulfill Marygrove’s cradle-to-career educational vision. Serving and prioritizing students from the surrounding neighborhoods, this went beyond improving educational outcomes by adding to the neighborhood’s continued revitalization.

Project Manager Sheila Fredricks remembers why Barton Malow was selected for the project.

“They didn’t go out to bid for the construction management services,” she recalls. “They approached Barton Malow based on our community involvement and wanted us to lead the program.”

Beyond providing construction management, Barton Malow has been supporting Marygrove’s vision in other important ways by committing 20 percent of its construction dollars to minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses, and employing residents of surrounding neighborhoods through the Barton Malow Boot Camp. In partnership with the city’s Grow Detroit Young Talent program, the boot camp trains 18- to 24-year-olds either looking for employment opportunities or wanting to explore different careers.

“[It’s] one of the best things we do as a company,” says Sheila. “We would pay for their salaries. They’d work onsite three days a week and have training other days for a six-week program. [It’s] one of the most impactful things.”

The Marygrove campus anchors a community that’s been underserved for a long time, making Barton Malow team members feel their involvement can really make a difference.

“It was so much more than just a job to me personally,” remembers Sheila. “It felt like you were coming to work for a purpose that was really enriching the community. … There’s so much that comes from investing in our children, and I think that was the main goal of the project. That’s why Barton Malow was approached, because we’re known as such a community-focused builder.”

For Sheila, the impact of working on the Marygrove Early Childhood Education Center was so powerful she enrolled her young daughter as part of its inaugural class.

“It makes me feel grateful that I found an employer [that] aligns so closely with my values that I never have to wonder if I’m doing the right thing with my life.”

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