Special Olympics Michigan purchases former South Christian High School Campus
Facility to be transformed into Statewide Hub for Unified Sports and Inclusion
GRAND RAPIDS — Special Olympics Michigan has purchased the former South Christian High School campus located at 160 68th Street SW in Byron Township, Michigan, and will transform the former Grand Rapids area school into the Special Olympics Michigan Unified Sports & Inclusion Center.
The new center will serve as a training facility for Special Olympics Michigan’s four regions and 36 areas throughout the state. Particular emphasis will be placed on unified sports and health and wellness programs, including nutrition and preventative care. The development of these programs will then be modeled and shared more broadly throughout the state.
“The purchase of this facility makes perfect sense for Special Olympics Michigan,” said Timothy Hileman, president & CEO, Special Olympics Michigan. “Not only will it help to foster the very integration and inclusion we seek to bring our athletes in West Michigan, it will also allow us the opportunity to serve athletes throughout the entire state of Michigan.”
The 127,000 square foot building was built in 1953 and renovated in 1991. It features two gyms and a 735 seat auditorium, and is situated on 17 acres, including three sports fields. The campus will provide space for year-round programming, including league play, health and wellness services, youth athlete programming, training and development, and more.
Initial design concepts are currently being considered for potential changes to the facility. Upon completion, the Special Olympics Michigan Unified Sports & Inclusion Center will be the world’s largest Special Olympics Facility to date.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this tremendous undertaking,” said Juliet Dragos, chairperson, Special Olympics Michigan. “Special Olympics Michigan serves an incredible group of people and I can’t wait to see all of the new opportunities for our athletes, their families and the community.”
About Special Olympics Michigan
Special Olympics Michigan has been part of the Special Olympics movement since its start in 1968. The non-profit organization provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletes develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience enjoy while participating in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship among their families, Special Olympics athletes and the community. The athletes achieve their dreams with the support of caring volunteers, coaches, family members and staff. Donations from Michigan citizens and businesses provide funding for the program. For more information visit www.SOMI.org.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 6 million athletes and Unified partners in over 190 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.