Information provided by Bishop Noll Institute
HAMMOND, Ind. (July 2, 2023) – Bishop Noll Institute leaders, joined by the Most Rev. Robert J. McClory, bishop of the Diocese of Gary, broke ground on June 20 on the first major renovation of the school’s outdoor athletic facilities in 60 years.
The initial phase of the renovation — which carries a price tag of $4.5 million and is scheduled to be completed by summer 2024 — calls for a new turf field for football and soccer, the addition of a regulation eight-lane track, plus bleacher seating and lighting.
“It has been a goal of the Bishop Noll administration and school board to renovate our outdoor athletic fields, most components of which are no longer competitive with the standards of high schools today,” BNI President Paul Mullaney said. “For the past 12 years, we have made numerous and strategic improvements inside our school building to provide our students with the best possible tools and facilities to excel in the classroom. … Our students deserve the same level of quality in their outdoor facilities.”
Bishop Noll Principal Lorenza Jara Pastrick said top-notch athletic facilities are important to the families of today.
“They want to see a beautiful space that their kids can grow in outside of the classroom,” Pastrick said. “The reality is sports play is an integral part of the growth and development of students, an important part in growing leaders and young disciples.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by students, faculty, staff, donors, board members and community members. The event also featured a blessing of the field by Bishop McClory.
The first phase of the project is being funded by a $500,000 gift from the Diocese of Gary, revenues from the recent Ignite & Inspire capital campaign, the annual Mary Whelan Memorial Golf Outing, and other donations.
The subsequent phases of the project will include multiple buildings for restrooms, concessions, locker rooms and storage, plus a new softball field and other amenities. The subsequent improvements also are likely to cost $4.5 million, funding for which a new capital campaign called Fielding Our Future has begun.
“The Fielding Our Future campaign will provide the final elements of an athletic campus that will be a true exclamation point to all the facility improvements we’ve accomplished over the past decade,” Mullaney said.
Preparing for its 103rd school year, Bishop Noll Institute is a Catholic high school serving the youth of Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland. It is the largest school in the Diocese of Gary. Bishop Noll is located at 1519 Hoffman Street in Hammond.