The former Webster School in Pontiac is cleaned up and transformed into a community center

The former Webster School in Pontiac is cleaned up and transformed into a community center

(Oakland County, July 10, 2022)

Pontiac, Michigan- The cleanup and redevelopment of the site of the former Webster Elementary School in Pontiac took a big step forward with the recent removal of a contaminated 20,000 gallon underground tank. Community members cheered as a crane operator lifted the tank, which was used to store fuel oil, off the ground.

Oakland County last year received a $425,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to clean up the property.

“Without these grants, many of these sites would continue to be an eyesore in our communities,” said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “So we look forward to future collaborations and partnerships with cities across Oakland County and the Webster Community Center to help ensure the success of our cities and neighborhoods.”

Micah 6 Community, a Pontiac-based nonprofit, is investing $21 million to transform the former elementary school on West Huron Street into the Webster Community Center which will provide social and recreational services, including six classrooms Head Start, a food co-op, art and therapy classes, performing arts programs, WIC (women, infants, children) office, walk-in clinic, small business incubator, and venues community events.

“We are thrilled to launch the environmental remediation of this project as it represents one more step towards a completed community center providing services, activities and opportunities for people of all ages in our community,” said said Micah 6 Community Executive Director Coleman Yoakum. . “We are grateful to Oakland County and so many others for supporting this project and thus serving our neighbors.”

Micah 6 Community plans to complete building and property renovations by December 2023. Tenants will include Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency, Honor Community Health, SMART, Rochester University, Art Experience, Pontiac Community Foundation, Oakland County Sheriff PAL, Sprout Fresh Food Store, Kaleo Kids, Accent Pontiac and Pontiac Theater IV.

“This nearly half a million dollars helps bring the completion of Webster School’s exciting project closer, while protecting the health and safety of our community through environmental remediation. Many thanks to County Manager Dave Coulter for his leadership in achieving this goal,” said Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel.

After lifting the contaminated tank out of the ground, the Micah 6 community offered community members and media a guided tour of the interior of the building where they will begin environmental remediation. EGLE’s $425,000 grant will also help eliminate other contaminants like asbestos and lead-based paint.

“EGLE is pleased to be able to play a role in the safe and productive reuse of a contaminated and degraded property,” said Carrie Geyer, Brownfields Assessment and Redevelopment Section Manager at EGLE.

For more information on Micah 6 Community and its projects, visit micah6community.com.

Jill E. Washington