Governor Granholm Announces New Grants to Support Renovation of Historic McGregor Public Library in Highland Park

Contact: Mitchell Rivard 517-335-6397


December 6, 2010

Funds will help spur $9.3 million restoration of shuttered landmark

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced two grants totaling $342,000, including a $110,000 Cities of Promise grant and a $232,000 Clean Energy Coalition (CEC) grant, that will be used to help restore Highland Park's landmark McGregor Public Library.  The announcement was made at Highland Park City Hall where the governor was joined by Mayor Hubert Yopp, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Deputy Director Burney Johnson, CEC Division Manager Jenny Oorbeck and other local officials. 

Designed and built in 1926, the McGregor Library was a centerpiece for the community until hard times in the auto industry resulted in Highland Park suffering job losses, depopulation and reduced tax revenue.  The library closed in 2002 but is currently undergoing a $9.3 million restoration. 

"Libraries are important components of a civil society - they can be the social and cultural anchor of smaller communities," Granholm said.  "These grants will help Highland Park reopen McGregor Library as a vibrant, more energy-efficient building, one that will be a key educational resource in this community." 

The governor created the Cities of Promise initiative in 2006 to help eight of Michigan's most distressed cities by bringing together resources to assist in blight elimination and community and economic development.  Local leaders in each of the eight Cities of Promise identified a signature project to serve as a public symbol of the city's redevelopment.  Highland Park selected the McGregor Library as its signature project. 

"The McGregor Library signature project is a prime example of how the Cities of Promise initiative has helped showcase a major historic southeast Michigan treasure," Johnson said.  "I applaud the efforts of Highland Park's leaders for their vision and for working together to produce the right ideas that help build stronger local economies and communities." 

The $232,000 CEC grant will likely be used to upgrade existing lighting, both with natural and energy-efficient lighting technologies.  Highland Park officials also plan to invest a portion of the CEC grant in efficient glazing technologies that provide significantly more insulation value than traditional skylights.

The CEC, through a $4.4 million grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission, is designing and implementing ongoing clean energy programs in Highland Park and Michigan's other Cities of Promise.  The CEC is a Michigan-based, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to creating healthier energy-independent communities by accelerating positive change through clean energy technologies.  Clean Energy Communities, a CEC initiative, delivers technical expertise and guidance to Michigan municipalities and local governments. 

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