Divine Child breaks ground on new athletic complex

Photo by Zeinab Najm. Divine Child Catholic Youth Organizaion Athletic Director Mike Opelia (left), DC Associate Pastor the Rev. John Kopson, DC Pastor the Rev. Jim Bilot, DC Elementary School Principal Sr. Cecilia Bondy, DC High School Principal Damian Hermann, High School Athletic Director Tony DeMare and Executive Chair of the DC Capital Campaign Randy Doran break ground on the school’s future Alumni Athletic Complex April 15.

Photo courtesy of Divine Child High School. The future 1,900-seat Divine Child Alumni Athletic Complex will be ready to host community events, tournaments, invitationals, meets and playoffs for the school’s athletic teams on a multi-purpose synthetic playing surface by fall 2016.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Divine Child High School broke ground on a new Alumni Athletic Complex project which includes a new playing field and stadium seating.

The project begins phase two of the school’s Investing in Excellence Capital Campaign which should be completed by the start of the school year this fall.

A new multi-purpose synthetic playing field, stadium seating for 1,800, an eight-lane running track, long jump, pole vault, and discus and shot-put circles will make up the complex.

Currently, the school’s football team played home games at Crestwood High School because of the lack of a field at Divine Child.

“This has been a dream for so many for a long time and it is finally becoming a reality,” Church of the Divine Child Pastor the Rev. Jim Bilot said at the groundbreaking.

To this date, the overall campaign has raised over $2.5 million from fundraising by the school and parents to pay for the three-phase project.

Phase one included renovation of the high school auditorium with 598 new seats, stage floor, lighting waiting and wheelchair accessible spaces.

The elementary school received infrastructure improvements to add indoor and outdoor handicapped accessible restrooms, locker room, referee room and multi-function room to prepare for the athletic complex.

“This complex allows all our Falcon teams, including soccer, lacrosse, track and football to defend their home turf,” DC Athletic Director Tony DeMare said. “The new Divine Child Alumni Athletic Complex will provide the space necessary to host community events, tournaments, meets, invitationals and state playoffs.”

For the third phase, additional science classrooms for the elementary and high schools are planned along with a new concession stand. Work on the last phase is scheduled to begin in August.

“It’s great to see the community putting down roots, recourse and commitment to the future,” City Councilman Brian O’Donnell said. “Divine Child provides a world class eduction and now can provide world class athletics too.”

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)