Andrew Jackson Intermediate was a school located on the east side of Detroit. Jackson was designed by the firm of B.C. Wetzel & Co., with the main part of the school built in 1928.
Jackson is one of Detroit's more unique schools in terms of design, using orange brick, masonry quoins along the edges of the building, and balustrades along the roof. Two lanterns are located above the main entrances facing the street. Though large, they appear to be purely ornamental, and are empty. The layout is fairly typical of schools designed in the late 20's, with a main hallway along which classrooms are located, and wings located on the ends. Jackson has an extra classroom wing on the north side of the building, and a cafeteria wing on the south side. Located in the center are the auditorium, which took up two floors, and a library on the third floor. The plan allowed for easy expansion of the school should the need arise.
The gymnasium and swimming pool were added on in 1930. This wing included locker rooms for boys and girls, as well as choir rooms. When finished, the school had a capacity of 2,200 students.
At some point in the late 1980's the school's name was changed to Ronald McNair Middle School, after the physicist who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. It became a technical academy, with an emphasis on computers and technology. The library was renovated in 2000 with donated funds, adding 20 computers and thousands of new books
By 2001, McNair was down to 1,100 students, or about half capacity. As the east side neighborhood around McNair vacated, the number of students continued to fall, reaching a low of 370 in 2007. The school was originally slated to be closed that year, but was instead reorganized as an African-centric program, and took in students from other nearby schools that closed. Unable to raise test scores and needing over $1.5 million in building repairs, McNair closed in the summer of 2009.
Unlike other schools, McNair got a brief reprieve, and reopened as the temporary home of Finney High School in the fall of 2009. Over the next three years the Finney campus was demolished and rebuilt, and in 2012, the students moved into the new school.
Jackson / McNair was left vacant in June of 2012 and put up for sale. Though the school was initially secured, scrappers eventually did enough damage that the overburdened school district gave up on securing the building. Most of the windows were stripped out over July and August of 2013.
The school was slated for demolition in 2015, but no work has been done yet.