SOUTHFIELD — Andrea Wilson, an Oakland Police Academy recruit and OCC Foundation scholarship recipient was selected to hit the lever that started the implosion of the North Park Plaza building Sunday morning. The Oakland Community College Foundation auctioned the opportunity to raise funds for student scholarships.
OCC acquired the North Park Plaza, a 17-story, 42-year-old, 340,000 square foot property in Southfield earlier this year. There are no immediate plans for the property, but the building is blighted and had to be removed.
Wilson was sponsored by an anonymous donor who made an $8,000 bid on an eBay auction for the opportunity. A number of other bidders came forward as well to donate their bid amounts to the OCC Foundation. The final amount raised was $12,000. All proceeds benefit student scholarships. At the close of bidding on Thursday, the top bid was $15,000. The $8,000 bidder, who wished to remain anonymous, was the first one to come forward and claim the prize.
“It was a very big shock to be asked,” said Wilson, 26, of Waterford. “I’m honored to have been chosen and grateful for the donor who will fund a scholarship for someone. Since I am a scholarship recipient myself, it felt really good to be able to help with this project.”
Wilson was awarded a schorship through the OCC Foundation, which goes to a self-sponsored police recruit with outstanding leadership, high academic achievement and excellent communications skills. Wilson is a recent OCC Criminal Justice program graduate and an active member of OCC’s Criminal Justice Student Association.
“It’s something I’ll be able to tell my kids one day, that I helped blow up a building. It was exhilarating. It happened real fast. There were a series of explosions and then it all went down all at once.”
Chancellor Timothy Meyer, who was initially offered the opportunity to hit the lever, decided to auction off the opportunity as a way to raise scholarship money.