PARC progress report -public forum, Thursday

Jan. 17, 2017  PLYMOUTH VOICE.

Plymouth Michigan News



Supporters and administrators of the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC) located at the site of the former Central Middle School in downtown Plymouth say they are now ready to move on to the next phase of the project and have scheduled a public forum to update the community this Thursday, Jan. 19.

Their goal, to re-purpose Central Middle School and sustain the community cultural and recreation opportunities, has been very successful so far according to 47-year township resident and founder Don Soenen, an ardent supporter who along with his backers focused the renovation plan and brought it to fruition.

Calling it a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, Soenen fought for support from the city and the township to prevent the destruction of the more than 100- year-old structure owned by the Plymouth Canton Community Schools District and destined to be a dense development of residential homes.

“We do know how to put up a good fight,” Soenen told a standing-room only crowd at the 400-seat Penn Theater during his initial meeting in 2013.

“Our mission is to convert the Central Middle School property into a community center for the art and recreation that will offer quality cultural, educational and athletic enrichment opportunities for all citizens…” Soenen told the audience.

Initial plans for PARC included reopening the sports fields, gymnasium, swimming pool, and auditorium for all area residents in the Plymouth community.

Seonen and his backers met with strong resistance at the time from Plymouth Township officials who only wanted to see the development of a township recreation department, entirely separate from the city.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at the PARC Theater. Facility tours and refreshment will be offered from 6 –7 p.m.

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