Thursday, June 30, 2022

Westland planning new city community center

Members of the Westland City Council have allocated $8 million to fund a new city community center.

Council members voted unanimously to use funding from the second American Rescue Plan Act allocation of $12,966,016 Westland received for the development of a new community center at the former Marshall school site in the city.

City officials have been working with representatives from the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit and the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency on plans to renovate the vacant 143,000 square foot building.

The school, located at 35100 Bayview, sits on 19.4 acres and has been vacant since 2019. The total estimated cost for the community center, as designed, is $20.5 million. 

Mayor William R. Wild said the administration has contacted various sources seeking funding for the project. “City council's official commitment of funding for the project will allow us to leverage those funds to work to secure the additional funding needed from Wayne County and the State of Michigan,” Wild said. 

“The council has been working diligently with the administration to strategically allocate the funding and plans for this unique project,” said Westland City Council President James Hart. “All of the councilmembers have received input and great excitement for the Marshall project from the residents, and that is reflected in this proposal to move forward on this transformational opportunity for our community.” 

During a council study session earlier this month to discuss the project, Wayne County Business Development Manager Dave Schreiber explained the county process and requirements for requesting county American Recovery Plan Act funds, which include a commitment of funds from the local municipality. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has allocated $500,000 toward the project and requests have been made for an additional allocation of $3.5 million from   Congressional representatives Gary Peters and Rashida Tlaib. 

The proposed project scope includes exterior upgrades, including a new fa├žade, (parking/sidewalks/landscape), building envelope (roofing/doors/windows), building retrofits for programs, entry revisions, locker rooms, corridors, hallways, fire suppression, interior finishes (flooring/ceilings), mechanical, electrical, plumbing, technology and security upgrades.

“Through market studies and public engagement sessions, our residents have indicated a strong desire for increased recreational opportunities as well as a desire to revision the former Marshall school,” Wild said. “This allocation will continue to explore partnerships and conduct our necessary due diligence to determine the building's potential.”

Wild said the goal was to execute a purchase agreement with the Wayne Westland Community Schools by the end of this year.