Architectural agency donates a brand new frequent room for custody sharing, tutoring and extra to Pontiac substation – The Oakland Press

What was a tired, boring room in the substation of the Oakland County’s Sheriffs Office in Pontiac is now a comfortable and safe place for youth and other community members thanks to a caring group of people who understand how effective such a room can be.

Gone are the dingy walls – they have been scrubbed clean and buffed up with a fresh coat of paint and colorful, individually designed decor with children’s motifs. New tables and chairs, two big screen TVs, and cabinets packed with new board games and books complete the look introduced a few months ago by Sandi Marshall, office manager of CBI Design Professionals, Inc., a Bloomfield, when the project was proposed for Hills-based Architecture office.

The goal: To design and equip a safe, accessible, and enjoyable place for custody sharing, tutoring, neighborhood watch meetings, and more. And everything came true, marked by the ribbon being severed on November 5th.

“If it only helps one child, it was worth it,” said Marshall.

Shelves with new books and big screen TVs have been added to the room. (Aileen Wingblad / MediaNews Group)

The project was born out of conversations Marshall had with associate police officer Gill Garrett after she delivered Easter baskets to Pontiac children last spring. The two began to talk about what was going on in the church – and thought about how to make a difference. The plan was in July, and Marshall immediately got CBI Design Professionals owner Robert Clarke on board, who donated design services and also asked clients and contractors for donations and other help.

The team at CBI Design Professionals, Inc., including owner Robert Clarke, (back row, far right) cutting the ribbon on November 5th. (Aileen Wingblad / MediaNews Group)

“They saw a need and were ready to help to support the cause,” said Sheriff Mike Bouchard. “This corporate citizen makes a difference to so many in the community.

The room upgrades were completed within a few days. Garrett said he couldn’t wait to see the finished product – and tried looking around the room a few times while working, but was told to wait for the big reveal.

Gill Garrett, Deputy Local Police Department, and Sandi Marshall of CBI Design Professionals, Inc. chat in the new common room. (Aileen Wingblad / MediaNews Group)

“I was like a kid in a candy store,” he said with a smile.

Marshall added, “It has been an amazing process to create a space that can be used by the community in many ways … and very rewarding.”

Garrett also said that planned electronic game systems will be added at a later date.

The room is equipped with several new board games. It is planned to add electronic game systems. (Aileen Wingblad / Media News Group)

While the substation is officially closed to the public due to Covid-19 precautions, Bouchard said it will surely be available if there is a need to use the space before the health threat is over.

The substation is located at 110 E. Pike Street.

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