Detroit's only HBCU Pensole Lewis College gets new home at Bedrock's Icon Building

Metro Detroiter Niya Durant didn't have to look far when searching for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"I always look at places like Atlanta, Florida to go to HBCUs so to have one right here where I’m from, is a really good experience," she said.

Niya is a student at Pensole Lewis College, Detroit's only HBCU and on Wednesday there was a celebration about the only HBCU dedicated to design.

"Welcome everyone to this beautiful Bedrock building and the new home to Pensole Lewis College, Detroit," said Dan Gilbert.

The location in Detroit is at the Icon Building — a space with 5,000-plus square feet.

The location was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony plus an exclusive reveal of the Foot Locker Footwear Creation Studio.

"To be able to open a design focus HBCU in a city known for design I couldn’t have made this one up," said Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, PLC Detroit President.

Pensole Lewis College was formed out of Lewis College of Business, which relocated to Detroit in 1939 as a member of the HBCU.

But after its closure, there was a renewed effort to give it a rebirth and that effort led to Pensole Lewis College.

"To be able to resurrect, to recreate, (and) to re-embrace the establishment of an HBCU in the blackest city in the country, I think that’s really significant," said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called it a special day.

"To walk in here in partnership with Dan Gilbert and Bedrock and to make our young people go into a school in this type of building, isn’t this the type of building our young people deserve?" Duggan said.

"It's really a one and a lifetime opportunity," Niya said. 

"This is an amazing way to close out Black History Month," said Gilchrist.