The former Marshall School on Bayview Street is being considered for re-development into a community center. The current price tag for renovations: $15 Million.
After the school closed its doors in 2020, the building was slated for demolition. City officials entered into an agreement with Wayne-Westland Schools to postpone demolition while the city explored the feasibility of the project and conducted a building assessment. That agreement is set to expire March 1st, 2022, and it is likely that City Council will make a decision on purchasing the building in the coming weeks.
The Westland City Council held a meeting on January 24th where Mayor Wild presented his plans for Marhsall alongside representatives from the YMCA and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency. The plan includes dividing up the building between each organization with separate entrances.
Wayne Metro is a 501 c3 non-profit organization serving approximately 35,000 low-and moderate-income residents throughout Wayne County. They provide over 60 programs in the areas of Quality Housing, Family Stability and Economic Opportunities. Their services include financial capability education, home ownership workshops, housing counseling, financial counseling, utility assistance, Head Start, GED preparation, free tax preparation, foreclosure prevention and homeless services. The current plan includes allowing Wayne Metro to renovate and utilize about 11 classrooms for their services with a separate entrance from the YMCA.
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) has served the metro Detroit area for 168 years. They are known for providing services such as sports & recreation, health & wellness, art programs and educational support. The current plan would allow the YMCA to manage and staff a large portion of the building. The YMCA has fixed monthly prices that range from $44 per month for an adult, or $72 per month for a family up to four. However, most YMCA locations have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic and continue to offer virtual services.
Marshall currently has two gyms for basketball, volleyball and similar sports. There is no current plan for a pool, or other indoor recreational areas for year-round use.
If approved, the City would spend upwards of about $15 million to renovate the building. Currently, there is $500,000 in funding available from a state grant. The other $14.5 million would likely come from the American Rescue Plan where the City expects to receive $26 million over the next few years.
While most of the details are still being worked out, City Council will likely decide in the coming weeks if they want to buy the property from the school district. The overall design process and planning would continue through the end of 2022, with a potential opening of the center in the spring of 2024.
Stay tuned to the Westland Gazette for more updates on the Marshall School Project.