Oakland University Shines!

I had the privilege of attending events last week at OU three days in a row.  On Thursday, Louay Chamra, Dean of Engineering and Computer Science, hosted the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting in his conference room in the new engineering building.  While a new building is certainly a source of pride for a university, what’s equally rewarding is observing Dean Chamra as he talks about and gives tours of the new facility.  The engineering program at OU has gained much prominence in the last few years, with a lot of credit to Dean Chamra’s enthusiasm and leadership.  In fact, it’s that enthusiasm that lead my own son to turn down admittance to MSU and Kettering to attend OU.  Of course MSU and Kettering are great educational institutions and have prominent engineering programs, but my son was convinced that OU was right for him and wanted to attend classes in the new building.  He made that decision after meeting with Dean Chamra and I know he will receive an outstanding education.

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Late Friday afternoon, the new Elliott Tower was dedicated.  This new structure has significant prominence among all of the buildings on the OU campus and is no less than extraordinary.  Hugh and Nancy Elliott are big supporters of OU and provided the funding for the tower.  With all its amenities including fountains, brick paver plaza, landscape, lighting and more, it is sure to be a great community gathering place.  When I arrive at the office in the morning, I can’t miss the top of the tower as it is well-lit.  Besides, the clock lets me know if I’ve gotten to work on time.  The dedication event was no less than spectacular.  Hundreds upon hundreds of people gathered to listen to a handful of speakers talk about the tower and how it came about, and of course, to hear the bells ring.  As an OU Alum, it gives me great pride to tell people that OU is my alma mater and the Elliott Tower is a shining example of the growth, investment, and confidence that the greater community has in OU.

On Saturday morning, Dean Glenn McInstosh presided over the dedication and grand opening of Oak View Hall, the new student residence and new home to the Honors College.  Dean McIntosh delivered heartfelt gratitude to the many staff and students, present and past, who participated in bringing Oak View Hall to fruition.  This was my first opportunity to tour the building and also my first opportunity to meet OU’s new president, Dr. Hynd.  I heard Dr. Hynd speak at both the Elliott Tower dedication and the Oak View Hall grand opening.  I think OU selected a superb new President and I look forward to working with him on many things that OU and Auburn Hills have in common.

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The latest OU additions are a great source of pride for Auburn Hills.  The new engineering building and massive parking structure that was built to support the south end of the campus, the Elliott Tower, and Oak View Hall, are all located in Auburn Hills.  Looking out across the street from the City offices, it is easy to see that Oakland University is no longer the small, rural campus that it was in its early years.  Today, it is a growing University with a reputation for excellence.  OU is not just a University that is attended by local people looking for a place of higher education in close proximity to home.  More and more it is a University being selected by students nationally and internationally for its academic reputation and all-around outstanding student experience.

GO GRIZZLIES!

Tom Tanghe, City Manager

Oakland University Shines!

Clinton River Clean-Up This Saturday

It’s not too late to sign-up!  We encourage all who are interested to participate in this year’s Clinton River clean-up.  The event will be held this Saturday, September 20th from 9:00 a.m. to noon at River Woods Park.

Volunteers clearing a log jam in the Clinton River
Volunteers clearing a log jam in the Clinton River

The purpose of the event is to preserve and protect our river.  It’s an excellent opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to work together to make the City better.

So, meet us at River Woods Park at 8:30 a.m. to register.  Wear work clothes, sturdy shoes, and bring a pair of gloves.

For additional information please give us a call at 248-364-6926.  Advanced notice of your participation is appreciated, but not required.

Hope to see you there!

Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

Clinton River Clean-Up This Saturday

Calling All Movie Stars!

Wanna be famous?

The City is looking for some seniors to star in a series of Age-Friendly Auburn Hills videos, which will be filmed over next the few months.  We invite all those willing to share their thoughts and opinions about Auburn Hills to “play a role” in making the City better.  As our population continues to age, we’re striving to be proactive in an effort to make it easier for people of all ages to live, work, and play in our community.  So, we want to hear and learn from you!

Focus Group Dates:

  • Monday, September 29th – 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Friday, October 3rd – 12 noon to 1:30 p.m.
We encourage you to participate in a focus group interview. It will be fun!
We encourage you to participate in a focus group interview. It will be fun!

Participants will enjoy light refreshments, meet others, and of course be featured in our upcoming YouTube videos about the City’s efforts to become an age-friendly community.  If you’re interested (or know someone who would be interested) in participating in these focus groups please call the Community Center at 248-370-9353.

Maria Willett, Age-Friendly Community Planning Assistant

Calling All Movie Stars!

RSC Soccer Fields are Taking Shape

As an update, the outdoor soccer complex being constructed for the Rochester Soccer Club (RSC) south of Dutton Road, east of Bald Mountain Road is moving along according to schedule.

RSC is building four practice fields in Auburn Hills
RSC is building four practice fields in Auburn Hills

People often ask us when it will open, so we contacted the club to confirm their construction timeline.  Since turf grass for soccer fields must be designed to handle heavy use and abuse, it actually takes two growing seasons before the fields can be used for practices.  The grass was planted in Fall 2013, so they’ll have to wait one more year.

The club will make a final determination after this winter, but they’re hopeful the fields will be ready by Summer 2015.

Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

RSC Soccer Fields are Taking Shape

“Primary Place” Proposed Downtown

There will be a new “place” for people to live on Primary Street.

An application has been submitted to the City of Auburn Hills to develop 1.12 acres of vacant land located at the southwest corner of Primary Street and Grey Road.

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Location of the proposed Primary Place housing development

The developer, Steuer & Associates, Inc., intends to construct three new six-unit townhome buildings on the property.  All 18 units will have approximately 1,500 sq. ft. of living space.  Each unit will have an attached two car garage.  The investment is estimated at $3 million.

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Rendering of the six-unit townhome building. Three of these buildings will be built on the site

Upon receiving City Council approval, this attractive development is expected to break ground in the Spring.  It’s part of a slate of new residential housing projects valued at $90 million scheduled to start construction in Downtown Auburn Hills in 2015 . 

Those interested in learning more about Primary Place are encouraged to attend the public hearing at the Planning Commission’s meeting on Thursday, September 18th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

“Primary Place” Proposed Downtown

Auburn Hills Information Booth – The Solution to Life’s Chaos

Do you ever wish there were more hours in the day? More frequently it appears there is a significant lack of time to attempt a balancing act of life’s demands. Between work, errands, appointments, meetings, various activities, there seems to be only minutes left for the simplest task — relaxing. Whatever events may fill your schedule, Auburn Hills is working hard to better serve the needs of all the busy individuals in our community.

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Located to the east of parking lot 3 on Seyburn Dr.

To help make your time crunches less chaotic, Auburn Hills has come up with a 24-hour solution. A substantial amount of information you may desire related to Auburn Hills can be found in our Information Booth. Located off Seyburn Drive on the City Campus, the Information Booth stands alone nestled between City Hall and the Traffic Improvement Association building, just to the East of Parking Lot 3. If you cannot make it to City Hall during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, then simply head over to the Booth, open the door and be greeted with an abundance of important Auburn Hills’ information. The Booth houses a large selection of material ranging from building permit applications, to volunteer opportunities, Community Center class schedules and crime prevention programs and tips. Stop by the Information Booth and see what information may be of use to you and your family. Let Auburn Hills restore some relaxation time into your hectic schedule.

Sam Mariuz, Management Assistant

Auburn Hills Information Booth – The Solution to Life’s Chaos

Millions of Dollars Being Invested At The Palace of Auburn Hills

Palace Sports & Entertainment continues to make significant investments at The Palace of Auburn Hills.  Records show that they’ve expended close to $50 million to upgrade the arena since owner Tom Gores purchased the Pistons franchise and overall business a little over three years ago.

Currently, contractors have been working two shifts (approximately 15 to 20 workers per shift) at the facility to complete another multi-million dollar project.  They’ve been re-supporting the existing trusses on the roof to accept a new state-of-the-art scoreboard and hoist.  The hoist was installed last week.

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City building inspectors work closely with PS&E contractors to ensure the reinforcements are safe and strong.

The new scoreboard is expected to be delivered this week and should be installed by mid-September to allow PS&E technicians the opportunity to practice with its new and exciting features before the start of the Pistons’ basketball season.  The first pre-season game is October 7th against the Chicago Bulls.   The Palace’s command and control center has also been reworked to accommodate the new scoreboard operations.

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Rendering of view looking east at the new scoreboard above center court.
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In addition to the center-hung scoreboard, new LED display bands will be added all around the circumference of the seating area and new LED signs will be installed above all the exits. Rendering shows how it will look.

Stay tuned for more information in the weeks to come about sign upgrades planned for outside The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Millions of Dollars Being Invested At The Palace of Auburn Hills