Originally Posted by The Waukesha Freeman….
WAUKESHA — Catholic Memorial High School on Thursday announced a campus expansion project with the purchase of Infinity Fields Baseball Park, W234-S3555 Les Paul Pkwy.
“The expansion, improvement of the facility and improving the student experience has been a part of our strategic plan, which is a five-year plan introduced to our community in 2019,” Catholic Memorial President Donna Bembenek said.
Bembenek said staff has been looking at options to expand the campus at 601 E. College Ave. and improve the facility for students, including looking at what they could do on their own property. She added they are “somewhat landlocked.” The school learned the owners of real estate that is home to Infinity Fields and the athletic facility known as NX Level Sports Performance were interested in selling it.
“It is only 2.6 miles away. It became a great option for us to expand our campus and enhance the resources that are available to our kids,” Bembenek said. The property adds 36 acres and a 51,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility. The outdoor space includes six baseball diamonds, a concessions stand and eight acres of the Miishkooki Wetlands. The indoor space, currently home to NX Level Sports Performance, consists of an athletic facility that includes full locker rooms and showers, a practice football turf field, a full-size basketball court that can be used as two full-sized volleyball courts, a weight room space, and sand pits, batting, pitching and golf cages.
Currently because of the campus footprint most of CMH’s athletic teams don’t play on their fields. CMH has 33 different athletic programs, something very notable about a school its size.
Bembenek said CMH is second in the state regarding the number of different offerings for students.
“This project helps continue the focus on elevating and investing in education in the Waukesha community. In partnership with the village, CMH looks to continue to improve the site adding turf fields for baseball and softball as well as a multi-use field for soccer, rugby and lacrosse, enabling CMH to bring many of their athletic teams to their own home field,” she said.
It is a huge deal for the teams to be have home fields when they compete or practice, according to Bembenek.
“The addition of this facility and space will give our coaches and studentathletes the ability to train at a higher level,” Catholic Memorial Athletic Director Matt Bergan said. “We are excited for this additional space to provide home fields for our teams and continue to expand our youth programming and partnerships with area grade schools.”
The expansion benefits academics as well as sports.
Science classes can access the wetlands and ecological spaces for classes. The internship program at Catholic Memorial can also expand into student involvement in facility operations and collaborations with organizations that currently lease the spaces.
There will be fundraising efforts for CMH to be able to purchase Infinity Fields, but also to continue making improvements to the property. With the purchase of the land plus improvements, they are looking at $8 million.
“This project marks a new era for Catholic Memorial,” Bembenek said.