By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — After years of playing home games at other schools, Divine Child High School finally has a place to call its own.
Hundreds of fans attended the grand opening of the new Alumni Athletic Complex Aug. 26 for the celebration and first true home football game.
The Divine Child football team defeated Dearborn Heights Robichaud 35-20 to start the season 1-0.
The complex features a 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.
Team locker rooms, scoreboard, lighting for night games, offices, restrooms are also included.
Divine Child also will use the space to host community events, tournaments, meets, invitationals, and Catholic League and state playoffs.
“This is a project that started in 2010 and in 2016 it is a reality,” Church of the Divine Child Pastor the Rev. Jim Bilot said. “We are grateful to the tears, hard work and money that went into building the complex.”
During the celebration, the complex was blessed by Biot and representatives from each current and graduating class from 1962 to 2029 were in attendance.
The Divine Child cheer team and marching band performed, rally towels were given to fans, food and face painting were available at the opening.
An inaugural first run on the track and a human football tunnel highlighted the halftime show.
“This school is dedicated to education, athletics and spiritual beliefs,” Bilot said. “I am proud of everyone involved who worked hard to make this happen.”
The complex is part of a three-phase project that has been funded with donations from parents and school fundraising raising more than $3 million to date.
Phase one included renovation of the high school auditorium with 598 new seats, stage floor, lighting, waiting and wheelchair accessible spaces.
Divine Child’s elementary school received infrastructure improvements to add indoor and outdoor handicapped accessible restrooms, locker room, and referee room for the second phase.
The third phase will have additional science classrooms for the elementary and high schools planned along with a new concession stand and storage building.
For more information on the complex or projects go to investinginexcellence.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at email@example.com.)