The “official” opening of the St. Joe’s Mercy Elite Sports Center on the campus of Schoolcraft College was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, June 16. Schoolcraft College President Dr. Glenn Cerny shared the honor with several community leaders, including Maureen Miller Brosnan, Mayor of the City of Livonia; Joan A. Gebhardt, Chair of the Board of Trustees; and Dave Spivey, president, St. Mary Mercy Livonia, part of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.
“We’re excited to share our ‘grand opening’ with so many leaders in our community because the St. Joe’s Mercy Elite Sports Center is an important resource that will be shared by the Schoolcraft College community and beyond,” Dr. Cerny said. “Students, athletes of all ages, community members training or in rehabilitation, and more all will benefit from this brand-new space.”
Visitors toured the 75,000-square-foot facility, which includes the MercyElite sports performance and training programs, physical therapy and more; eight volleyball courts; a 1/7-mile track; a practice field for the Michigan Wolves Soccer Club; and brand-new classrooms and equipment for Schoolcraft College’s Movement Science program. It is also the western suburban home of the Michigan Elite Volleyball Academy.
“The St. Joe’s Mercy Elite Sports Center is an outstanding collaboration with the fitness program at the college, allowing us to provide rotations for students in physical therapy, exercise science, and strength and conditioning,” Spivey said. “We are also available to anyone in the community who would like to improve their sports performance by creating customized programs for individuals to achieve better health and increased performance in their sport."
At the end of the program, guests were treated to smoothies and snacks from the Elite Market and Smoothie Bar.
Guest speakers for the tour included:
- Dan Wolocko, MercyElite Sports Performance
- Ed McCarthy, Michigan Wolves Soccer Club
- Dr. Robert Leadley, Dean of Occupational Programs & Economic Development
- Steve Sack, Michigan Elite Volleyball Academy
- Chef Heather Moore, Elite Market & Smoothie Bar
“This is super-exciting,” Mayor Brosnan said. “This aligns really well with what we’re trying to do city-wide in Livonia. We have this vision we’re going to be one of the healthiest cities in the United States. So, clearly, whenever we see St. Joe Mercy Health and IHA coming together around health and fitness and sports rehabilitation all the great things we’re seeing at Mercy Elite here at Schoolcraft College, we know that Livonia residents as well as area residents in surrounding communities are going to be well-served here in Livonia.”
The St. Joe’s Mercy Elite Sports Center (ESC) has been open since earlier this year and was created to be a hub of College, community and regional activity by supporting youth sports, adult recreation, training and rehabilitation facilities and academic programs. It’s also the new home for Schoolcraft College’s Commencement, with the first ceremony held this past May.
“The Board of Trustees is so pleased with how the College is working with community and business leaders to create win-win solutions on our campus,” Gebhardt said. “With all the amenities available to serve a wide variety of people, the ESC is a great addition to the Schoolcraft College campus.”
Also attending from the Board of Trustees were Carol M. Strom, Vice Chair; Dillon E. Breen, Trustee; William P. Erwin, Trustee; and Brett M. Gierak, Trustee.
The floor of the new St. Joe’s Mercy Elite Sports Center has been recognized by a panel of industry experts as literally world-class after winning in the Sports Surfaces category in the 2020 Sikafloor Project of the Year awards.
The volleyball courts and running track are part of the 46,000 square feet that required the expert installation of a Sika Pulastic synthetic sports surface system by Robbins Sports, a long-time Sika partner.
Jordan Foster, President of Foster Specialty Floors, said a key element of the floor and a big benefit to users is the Comfort Pro pad.
“This pad delivers a shock absorption rating of 32%, which far exceeds most other products that are rated between 20 and 25%,” he said. “That equates to significantly less wear and tear on the athletes at the St. Joe’s Mercy Elite Sports Center when they are using this floor system.
“One of the leading causes of injuries in sports is muscle fatigue. This floor system will help athletes perform longer and at a reduced risk to injury because of the added performance this floor delivers compared with a standard synthetic sports floor.”
Rental opportunities exist for volleyball, pickleball, soccer or a variety of other sport or activity uses. Call 734-462-4348 for more details or for more information about the Schoolcraft College Fitness Center.