PEORIA — Peoria Notre Dame High School recently broke ground on the construciton of a $10.4 million sports complex that will include a 4,000-seat stadium, baseball and softball fields, and practice fields.
The construction of the sports complex is the first of a two-phase project that will relocate the Peoria Notre Dame High School campus from its current location at 5105 N. Sheridan Rd. in Peoria to a 71.5-acre site located next to Resurrection Cemetery on the northwest corner of Allen and Willow Knolls roads in Peoria.
“The first 50 acres of the land was donated 10 years ago,” said Peoria Notre Dame High School Principal Charlie Roy. “We bought an additional 20 acres last year that we were able to purchase. And then the(Catholic) Cemetary Association (of Peoria) was kind enough to donate a couple extra acres to square off the quad, so there’s 71.5 acres total.
“Since the land has been donated, the thought of the school is to evenutally have everything in one place. The first phase of the project is complete the athletic field. When we complete that we’ll move on to the next phase of completing the school.”
Peoria Notre Dame High School is raising the $10.4 million it needs for the first phase of the project through private fundraising.
“All of the funding comes through private donors,” said Roy. “We don’t receive any state or federal aid. In the last two years there’s been a big push to finish the fundraising for the first phase. We’re close to hitting our goal on that fundraising level.”
The Catholic secondary education school will need to raise an additional $30 million in private donations for the construction of the school building that will be located east of the sports complex on the 71.5-acre site. The new school building will be able to accommodate 800 to 1,000 students. Current enrollment at Peoria Notre Dame High School is about 800.
No timetable has been set for the construction of the new school building.
Construction of the sports complex is expected to be complete by the fall of 2014.
Currently, Peoria Notre Dame High School’s football team plays its home games at Peoria Stadium and Richwoods High School. The school hosts competitions at rented sites all over Peoria for most of its other sports teams.
“We rent spaces all over town and play our home games at different facilities as well,” said Roy.
In addition to football games, Peoria Notre Dame will host soccer games as well as track and field events at the new stadium.
“There will be 3,000 seats on the home side (grandstand) and 1,000 seats on the visitor’s side (grandstand), and there will be room in the north and in the south for extras,” said Roy.
Locker rooms will be built underneath the home side grandstand. The football/soccer/track field will be an artificial surface. A gateway building will be built to serve as the stadium’s primary entrance.
Two baseball and two softball fields with dugouts, fencing and lighting will be built, as part of the sports complex. Two practice fields will also be built.
Peoria Notre Dame High School has not yet determined a name for the sports complex.
“We’re still going through the name rights, how we plan to do that,” said Roy.