January 8. 2016
Steven Pepple, Detroit Free Press
A $6 million, multi-sport dome is planned for Schoolcraft College’s Livonia campus in western Wayne County.
The 110,500-square-foot sports dome and an adjacent outdoor competition turf soccer field will serve as the home of the Michigan Wolves-Hawks Soccer Club. MWHSC has signed a 25-year lease for the facility, the college announced today in a news release.
The sports dome, which can be used year round, is being developed by the college and Universal Properties and Management using private funding, according to the news release. It is scheduled to open in August.
“Western Wayne County really needs a facility like this because youth and adult sports are so popular, particularly soccer,” Schoolcraft College President Conway Jeffress said. “The college will be using the space for classes, our varsity sports teams and special events such as commencement ceremonies.
“We also are comfortable that we can rent the space during off-hours at reasonable rates. Maybe the best part is that no taxpayer money will be used to construct this structure.”
The dome, measuring 425 feet by 260 feet, will be located at the southeast corner of the campus, along I-275, adjacent to the MASCO Corporation World Headquarters currently under construction. The dome, which can be used year-round, will be surrounded by the outdoor turf stadium soccer field, parking and green space, the college said.
The MWHSC will use the facility during after-school hours and weekends. The Livonia-based organization trains and competes with more than 800 youth and young adult travel soccer players ages 5 to 18, the news release said.
January 8, 2016
David Veselenak, Hometown Life
Schoolcraft College doesn’t seem to sleep on new improvements to the school’s campus. College President Conway Jeffress hopes the surrounding community will get a kick out of the next development planned.
The Livonia-based college, along with Southfield-based Universal Properties and Management, Inc. announced Friday a 110,500 square-foot soccer dome will be constructed on the southeast corner of the campus near I-275 and near the new Masco Corporation World Headquarters, which remains under construction and is expected to open later this year.
“We're rather excited about it,” Jeffress said. “There’s no facility like this close by. We can make good use of it.”
Other indoor soccer facilities in the area are located in Farmington, Novi and Canton, which had a dome open off Michigan Avenue last year.
The dome is expected to have construction begin shortly. Jeffress said the plan is to open the year-round facility by August.
“I'd like to get started moving dirt now,” he said. “I like to get things rolling as soon as we can. The dirt that Masco wanted out of here, we'll leave it here and use it to create a base for the soccer environment.”
The dome also has a client for usage in the next few decades: The Michigan Wolves and Hawks Soccer Club, an organization that has several soccer teams for boys and girls ranging in ages from 4 to 19, agreed to a 25-year deal to make the facility their official home for games and practices.
The club, which has more than 800 participants has agreed to lease space in the dome, the nearby outdoor competition turf soccer field and some office space, according to the college.
“We are really excited about this partnership,” said Ed McCarthy, president of the soccer club and a Birmingham resident. “It really is an enormous project. The modern design of that facility is something we're excited about.”
The college’s athletic teams are also expected to utilize the dome, and it could also be used for other college and community events.
“In addition, we're landscaping the area, so that the outdoor soccer field that we already have will be adjacent to that, along with parking and green space,” Jeffress said. “I think it's going to look pretty good.”
No taxpayer money being used.
Jeffress said the possibility of adding the dome came after it became clear private money would be available for the construction costs. The expected price tag for construction on the dome is about $6 million.
“With this partnership, it's all funded by all non-taxpayer money,” he said. “That's kind of a crucial thing.”
That’s how Universal Properties and Management, Inc., got involved in the project. The company also recently acquired the Seven Mile Crossing complex in Livonia.
“I am confident this project will be successful, and we are so pleased to continue our investment in the college, City of Livonia and western Wayne County,” said Gordon R.A. Fishman, Chairman of Universal Properties and Management, Inc., in a prepared statement.
Jeffress said he saw the dome as a way to continue adding resources for the community to use. Finding uses for buildings that will benefit the most people, including students and community members, is a goal of this project and others at the college, he said.
“That's kind of what's been in our head certainly among all of my time here,” he said.
Dan West, president of the Livonia Chamber of Commerce, said he was surprised a soccer dome hadn’t come to Livonia sooner, given the amount of enthusiasm the area has for the sport.
The dome fits in well with the city’s expanding hotel business, which will allow for teams to stay in town for tournaments throughout the year.
“It makes sense that indoor soccer facilities would come to Livonia when you consider how many youth soccer families are here,” he said. “When you consider the several new and renovated hotels planned for the city in the coming year, the new soccer dome at Schoolcraft College helps Livonia become better primed to welcome youth sports tournaments year around.”