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‘A point of pride for everyone’

Outdoor athletic complex takes shape for Wolves to play, march, train

The end zone and howling wolf at the 50-yard line pop with purple in the renovated Wyoming Wolves football stadium.

Construction is nearly complete on about $3 million in work to the outdoor athletic complex at Wyoming High School, 1350 Prairie Parkway SW. Improvements include artificial turf, a new track, a new softball field and dugouts, baseball field updates, a new stadium entry plaza, an updated concession stand, sidewalks and batting cages. 

Fans will arrive Oct. 11 for the Homecoming game against Wayland, the first matchup in the new digs. (Until the field is finished, home games will be held at Wyoming Junior High, 2125 Wrenwood St. SW.)

The complex will serve all students in sports and beyond, said Athletic Director Ted Hollern, who has worked in the district for 23 years. 

“I see it being the anchor of the entire community, when our kids have the opportunity to go out there and show everybody their talents and their skills and what they are all about on a first-class prestigious football field,” Hollern said. “It is the point of pride for everyone. We now have a facility that matches the prestige and expertise of our athletes.” 

Much More to Come

Renovations are just part of  $40 million in planned work at the high school. A 30-classroom addition is under construction and should be ready to move into next August, said Principal Josh Baumbach. Renovations school-wide will include new collaborative spaces outfitted to meet technology needs. Hallways will be widened and windows and high ceilings will allow for more natural light. Eventually, ninth graders, who are currently housed at Wyoming Junior High, will be moved to the high school.

“Essentially we are going to have a new high school when this is said and done. Our students deserve the best and our community has stepped up,” Baumbach said.

The work is all part of $79.5 million school improvement bond, to fund facility improvements districtwide, which passed in 2017. It is being split into two phases: $23.5 million for a first phase of improvements and the remaining $56 million in 2022.

For cheerleaders Andraeya Wells, Taylor Boukma and Brionni Strodtbeck, the excitement goes beyond athletics.

“I can’t wait for the freshmen to come up here and have their own wing,” said Andraeya.

Taylor said she’s happy for future Wolves. “They will be brought up with stuff we never had — newer buildings, nicer facilities and everything. They are going to have more opportunities.”

Added Brionni, “It’s fresh and clean. Everything will be new.”

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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