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Bishop Dwenger announces plans for new stadium, performing arts center

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – The Saints could go marching into a new stadium.

That’s if the funding is just right, and the City of Fort Wayne approves the plans.

Bishop Dwenger High School announced its plans Saturday to build a new on-campus stadium around Sheilds Field and a new performing arts center just down the road.

Over the holidays, two large donations put these wishlist project into motion, the school says.

Dwenger is in the preliminary design stages for a stadium that would include bleachers on both the home and away side, a larger press box, new concessions areas, larger bathrooms, and possibly two team rooms.

The plans also include a new entrance that would have a ticket booth and new fencing around the facility.

Officials think this plan would come in at just under $2 million for a complete project, which they hope to have done by early fall.

That all depends on funding and approval.

“We are so excited about the possibilities this new project will create for our school,” John Bennett, Athletic Director said in a press release.

“Being able to host our home football games on campus will be great. Additionally, we will be able to host both the men and women home soccer games, rugby, and lacrosse. The Marching Band and Color Guard will also benefit from this proposed facility.

The other ambitious part of the project is a new Performing Arts Center that would renovate the vacant theater in the Northcrest Shopping Center.

Right now, the school uses the gymnasium for all of their band, chorale, and theater productions.

They’re feeling a little cramped, and a larger space would allow them to grow.

Officials envision one side of the facility could become an auditorium with projected seating for 300 – 400 spectators. The other side could serve as a multi-purpose facility that could be utilized for countless activities, practices, and special events. In the middle of the two areas, a nice reception-gathering space would be available.

Officials admit outright that this Performing Arts project will cost more, and may not be as easily executed like the football stadium.

The overhaul of the theatre could cost them anywhere from $3 to $5 million, and they still have a lot of research and planning to go on the arts project.

Katie Burns, the Director of Development for the school, says they’re on the tail end of completing their last capital campaign to the tune of $8.4 million in improvements.

“…But we are confident there will be much interest from our alumni, as well as our current and past families, to ensure the success of these projects over time, just like they so generously supported this past campaign,” Burns said in a press release.

“Certainly, we are blessed with these two extremely generous donors who are making major contributions to these two projects, but we have lots of fundraising ahead of us. We know that the collective Dwenger Family will make it happen. That’s how a family works!”

Officials say it is likely the stadium will be completed before the Performing Arts Center.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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