Dearborn Divine Child has field to call its own

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Dearborn — The difference occurred Tuesday when students began arriving back on Dearborn Divine Child’s campus.

They saw the new athletic complex, Friday’s football game against Dearborn Heights Robichaud began being a topic of conversation, and now everyone is counting the hours.

“Once the kids saw what is happening, there’s just been a great sense of excitement,” said Colleen Johnson, Divine Child director of advancement.

Divine Child is one of several schools — Woodhaven and Brighton are others — who’ve completed capital improvements or upgraded facilities in time for the start of the high school sports season.

But DC’s situation is notable in that Friday’s game under the lights will be the first ever on campus.

The Falcons have played a limited number of home afternoon games over the last 58 years but have primarily rented neighboring Dearborn Heights Crestwood as its home field —and especially for night games given DC didn't have a lighted field.


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That will not be the case anymore, not after a $3-million renovation project that saw the saw the school install new all-purpose synthetic playing surface, lights, bleachers, scoreboard, eight-lane track, team locker rooms, restrooms, and concession area.

The next phase of the renovation is a science wing at both the elementary and high school.

“We’ve always had excellent academics and teachers and excellence in the classroom, great coaches and athletes,” Johnson said. “We want our facilities to match that.”

Radio personality Steve Courtney, a DC graduate, will be master of ceremonies at Friday’s grand opening ceremony before the game.

Woodhaven will host Allen Park Sept. 9 on a new all-weather, synthetic turf with renovated bleachers. It’s been approximately 12 years since Woodhaven has replaced its football field, said Mark Greathead, the school district’s superintendent.

“It’s been a very exciting time, we had our first home soccer game and we have junior varsity football coming up, and everyone loves playing on the turf,” Greathead said.

The cost of the project was about $467,000, with a lot of the old turf being recycled into the baseball field and other areas around the school.

Brighton’s football team heads into this season having enjoyed its new strength and conditioning facility this summer, which was completed late spring.

The high school’s new weight room is approximately 10 times larger than the old room – which happened to be an old class room – with a total capacity of 14,000 square feet.

There are 18 platforms for weightlifting including one that is air resistant rather than iron, for students with physical disabilities.

The weight room is one of the final projects funded by an $88 million bond issue taxpayers passed in 2013.