Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
By BTL Staff
FERNDALE – With guest of honor Governor Jennifer Granholm on hand for the festivities, Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center will break ground for its new center at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23. Affirmations’ new building site is at 290 W. 9 Mile Road, in the heart of downtown Ferndale. Completion of the 15,000 square foot facility is slated for the fall of 2006.
As a testament of support for the project, Governor Granholm will make remarks during the groundbreaking ceremony. Affirmations’ new building is one of five projects that was highlighted in Ferndale’s successful bid last year for a grant from Governor Granholm’s “cool cities initiative,” a fiscal program aimed at drawing and retaining young, creative professionals who embody the kind of cutting-edge business and artistic talent the state wants to embrace. Other successful cities across the country support the presence of a thriving lesbian and gay community, one indication that diversity and acceptance attracts creative talent.
This seems to be the case for “Fashionable Ferndale.” Sandwiched between Detroit and Royal Oak, it has quickly become known as a hip, urban town; a status many believe is due to the growing lesbian and gay population of the area. “Ferndale is lucky to have Affirmations among us,” says Ferndale Mayor Robert Porter. “I look forward to seeing this fine organization in a new and permanent home – an anchor to downtown development that will benefit all our citizens.”
The new center will offer an array of features, including a public cyber caf, library, art gallery and public-access meeting space. Upon approval, it will also provide Ferndale with its first certified environmentally friendly building, featuring the use of energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, plumbing technology that reduces water usage, and an interior design that reduces “sick building syndrome,” promoting a healthier living environment.
“We’re really pleased to be able to build green,” said Executive Director Leslie Ann Thompson. “We’ve had enormous success with the fundraising for this campaign, allowing us to move forward with the dream and a true testament to the community support for this project.”
Centrally located on 9 Mile Road, just one block west of Woodward Avenue, the new center will allow Affirmations to more than double its size and scope. “In recent years, our existing home has just become too small for the hundreds of volunteers, members and youth who walk through our doors each week,” said Thompson. “We need to expand our physical space to accommodate the tremendous growth we’ve experienced.”