The Stomps Center is a regulation high school basketball gymnasium that opened in November. It is named after Michael Stomps II, a former student who died in 2004.

The Stomps Center is a regulation high school basketball gymnasium that opened in November. It is named after Michael Stomps II, a former student who died in 2004.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Public grand opening of Stomps Center planned for Dec. 16

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published December 3, 2018

 A $7.8 million expansion project was recently completed at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School. It includes a new athletic center and classrooms.

A $7.8 million expansion project was recently completed at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School. It includes a new athletic center and classrooms.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

 Twelve new classrooms were constructed over the past year. The two-story building opened in time for the first day of school on Sept. 10.

Twelve new classrooms were constructed over the past year. The two-story building opened in time for the first day of school on Sept. 10.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — It’s been over a year and a half since ground was broken at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Macomb Township for a $7.8 million expansion project which includes a new athletic center and classrooms.

The construction is complete and folks at Immanuel are excited to showcase the Stomps Center and a state-of-the-art school building at a public grand opening on Sunday, Dec. 16 from 3 to 6 p.m.

“There will be a brief program discussing all that is going on at Immanuel and there will be free food, giveaways and inflatables at our winter carnival,” Immanuel Principal Joel Neumeyer said. “Everything is free and everyone is invited.”

Guests may register for the grand opening at immlutheran.org/grand-opening/.

The Stomps Center is a regulation high school basketball gymnasium that’s been built to be used by Immanuel and the local community. It is named after Michael Stomps II who was a student at Immanuel, graduating in 1999. He died from cancer in 2004.

“His family has been a great family here and were a huge part of this building,” Neumeyer said. “It’s a way to continue his legacy and honor him.”

A unique design element of the basketball court is that on the sideline at half court is Stomps’ signature inscribed in between the words Stomps Center.

Another way Immanuel will honor Stomps is by retiring his number 11.

“The number is going to be painted on the wall and there will be no more number 11’s at Immanuel,” Neumeyer said.

On Dec. 7, the Stomps Center is set to host “Hoop the Plank,” an event where basketball teams from St. Peter Macomb will square off against Immanuel teams. The idea to name it “Hoop the Plank” came from “Run the Plank” – a 5K run and walk event held in the summer.

Neumeyer said the multi-million dollar project concept initiated in 2015 when groundwork was laid out for a capital campaign and how money would be raised.

Funds from the capital campaign came from church members, with the remainder of finances received through a Church Extension Fund, or CEF loan.

Design plans were made with Wakely Associates which served as the architect and construction manager for the project.

The athletic center, which Neumeyer described as a high school gym for an elementary school, hosted its first event on Nov. 12 with a pair of basketball games.

“When we had our first assembly in here, the kids started stomping, so it works well being called the Stomps Center,” Neumeyer said.

The seating capacity at the new gym is around 450, seating roughly six times more than the school’s old gym which opened in 1961.

“We could generously fit maybe 75 people and that was standing room only,” Neumeyer said.

The new gym measures 100 feet-by-90-feet with six basketball hoops and enough space for two volleyball courts.

“We can fit the whole school in here so we can do a staff versus students volleyball game and have the kids watch it,” Neumeyer said. “We could never do that before because once you had all the kids in the gym, there was no room for a volleyball court.”

In April of 2017, the school hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion project.

The area next to the center is now home to a two-story building with 12 new classrooms used for K-5 classes. The new Stomps Center and classrooms are in the location of the school’s old playground.

Neumeyer said the school’s K-8 enrollment is at 382 pupils, and its preschool currently services 275 children.

The classrooms, which took 14 months to construct, were ready to go on Sept. 10, the first day of school. Altogether, about 20,000 square feet was added with the center and the classrooms.

Immanuel is located at the corner of 21 Mile Road and Romeo Plank.