DETROIT – Tom Gores, owner of the Detroit Pistons and CEO of Platinum Equity, announced his plans to build a $20 million community center in Rouge Park on the city’s west side. This announcement is the first in a series of initiatives Gores envisions for his foundation, the Tom Gores Family Foundation.
This project comes as a result of conversations with Pistons players and staff about where the foundation can help effect social change. Former Pistons forward Jerami Grant says, “it was an exciting opportunity to bring our thoughts to the table and not hold back, we have a lot of life experience dealing with issues of social justice and we have a lot of ideas about how to drive change.”
Working with Detroit’s Parks and Recreation Department, Gores plans on developing a 25,000 square foot multi-use facility adjacent to the Brennan Pool. The existing pool and locker rooms with also be renovated. By the end of 2024 the project will be completed bringing a wide range of year-round programming to the community.
The Cody-Rouge district is the only current district in the city without an indoor community center. This facility will serve a population that includes more than 24,000 residents within a 1.5 mile radius. City officials and Pistons representatives will host community meetings with District 7 residents to solicit feedback on amenities and programming they would like to see incorporated into the new space.
Community centers such as this played an important role for Isaiah Stewart when he was young, “for me growing up, community centers provided a safe space because after school I always had something to do, that led me to boxing, soccer, and eventually getting into basketball, but I was always busy. They can also give adults who have to work peace of mind knowing their kids are in a safe environment, learning or getting better or just having fun.”
A second phase of this plan will create an enclosed structure around one of the pools located at the Brennan site, creating year-round access to swimming lessons and water safety classes, a currently unmet need that is critical for Detroiters of all ages.