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City converts a former high school into a state-of-the-art community center

The challenge

The residents of Farmington Hills, Mich., were not satisfied with their current community center, which was in need of updates due to the age of the building. The city heard these complaints and made plans to convert a former high school into a new, state-of-the-art community center for residents to enjoy.

The city of Farmington Hills engaged Plante Moran Realpoint (PMR), formerly Plante Moran Cresa, to provide owner’s representative services to oversee the project’s budget, scope, and schedule throughout the three-year renovation.

The solution

PMR's value was first recognized during the planning phase of the project, when our team identified a new funding source to help offset the cost of demolition. With additional funding secured, increasing the total budget of the project to $27 million, additional critical-need items could be included in the project scope.

During design and construction, PMR helped the city prioritize needs, oversee project team activities, and guide solution development when challenges threatened the project. For example, the project team encountered issues with repainting an exterior metal deck. PMR coordinating additional due diligence to identify the issue and worked with the construction manager on enacting a timely and cost-efficient solution.

PMR's ability to develop creative solutions for challenges, generate effective and creative value engineering results, and mitigate unnecessary or duplicative costs throughout the project saved the city well over $1 million on the project overall.

The benefit

PMR provided the city of Farmington Hills with a high level of expertise to assist throughout the design, preconstruction, construction, and closeout phases of the project.

With PMR's guidance as owner’s representative, the city of Farmington Hills was able to turn the former school building into an asset the community can continue to enjoy. The Hawk Farmington Hills Community Center, which opened in the summer of 2021, houses an aquatics center, fitness area, auditorium, café, and multipurpose room available for all residents to use.

As a result of a committed and creative project team, The Hawk has won several awards:

  • Michigan American Public Works Association (APWA) Project of the Year in the Structures $25 million to $75 million category
  • mParks 2021-2022 Facility Design Award
  • IIDA Design Competition in the Wellness category

If your city has underutilized real estate assets, PMR can help you evaluate their highest and best use for your community. Contact our team to learn how.

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