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Forty-four Detroit schools and one administrative building will close in June under a $1 billion plan unveiled Wednesday by the city school district’s emergency financial manager.

The district has been beset with falling enrollment as well as aging buildings, emergency financial manager Robert Bobb said Wednesday. The plan will allow the district to cut operating costs by about $31 million in 2010 and ensure lower maintenance costs in the future, he said.

The plan, which complements an academic plan recently unveiled by Bobb, will “create a leaner, smarter DPS,” he said.

“We believe that this plan provides certainty where, in the minds of some, there may be uncertainty.”

The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that an additional 13 facilities will be closed by 2012. District spokeswoman Jennifer Mrozowski told CNN on Wednesday that more schools may be scheduled for closure in the future but could not confirm a number.

“We’re calling this DPS 2.0,” she said. “We’re looking to create a smaller but more efficient district” with an eye toward growth.

The district has 50,000 excess seats, Bobb said, and kindergarten enrollment has declined from 16,046 in 1994 to 6,039 in 2009. Such decreases are expected to continue, Bobb said. The Free Press reported that district enrollment will fall from 84,000 this year to 56,000 students in the 2014-15 school year.

Community members will be able to provide feedback on the plan at a series of town hall meetings, Bobb said. A final decision will be made in mid- to late April. If voters approve a bond measure sometime in the future, he said, “this plan offers a potential investment of over $1 billion in city neighborhoods.”

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Article courtesy cnn.com