Lutheran High North experienced a $3.1 million expansion and renovation project. While removing its four portable classrooms, North added a beautiful new classroom wing and a secondary gym while remodeling the school office, art room, science labs, and faculty lounge. The parking lot was resurfaced in this project also.
The gyms, cafeteria, music room, and all classrooms were air conditioned. We also expanded our Media Center and added a state-of-the-art distance learning lab with compressed video capabilities.
We installed lights on the athletic field giving our students the opportunity of having football games, soccer games and track meets at night.
We saw outfield fencing, underground sprinkler systems, and electronic scoreboards added to the baseball and softball fields, and new bleachers and an 8 lane track for the football stadium.
A rubberized coating was applied to the track providing a first-class cushioned surface for our athletes and we equipped the hallways with new lockers.
Our kitchen was remodeled and we incorporated new flooring, new dishwasher and a new stove.
A security door was added to the main entrance to help maintain a secure environment for our students and faculty.
We installed a new roof and completed major parking lot repairs.
The Mustang Spirit Shop was added in the cafeteria so students and their families had a place to shop so they could show off their Mustang Pride!
The Library was repurposed and remodeled into a Media Center for a more inviting space for our students to study and socialize.
The following is from the 1973 edition of the Equus; it conveys the early history of Lutheran North.
"A Lutheran High School in our backyard - not just any High School - but a High School where all students through God's word and Spirit, may:
- Know God and seek His forgiving love
- Identify themselves as God's Children, members of Christ's body
- Grow in self-understanding and self-acceptance
- Express His love through a response of Faith and Love to God and to fellow human beings
- Be freed, through the grace of God, to use His unique creative energies and capabilities in ways that are meaningful and of value to God's World"
This dream was shared by a small number of God's people in the Northern Suburban area of Detroit in the late 1950's. To dream and to forget is of no value. Jacob wrestled with God at Bethel and God promised Jacob divine protection and blessing. Jacob then continued on his mission to Haran. A pastoral conference of Pontiac, Rochester, Utica, and Mount Clemens Circuits of the Michigan District, met at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Union Lake, Michigan, and began to wrestle with God on February 9, 1965, as they heard Dr. John F. Choitz present Lutheran High Schools - Why?
Following this conference, a committee was selected, which met to outline a study on May 28, 1965. It consisted of Pastors Berman, Krueger, Fauch, Teacher Straub, and Dr. Choitz. On February 7, 1966, representatives from 38 congregations in Oakland and Macomb counties met and formed three committees: Membership, Site, and Finance. The representatives passed a resolution to form an ad hoc Lutheran High School North Committee. From this group, an Executive Committee, made up of Pastors Claus, Bergaman, Krueger, Codes, Klenke, Harms, and Teachers Schmidt and Graebner, discussed plans for further organization.
On October 13, 1966, the Executive Committee set up the following objectives for the Lutheran High School to support the church and the home as an educational arm.
God's Word is taught daily
- The Triune God is worshipped every day
- Students are taught to follow honorable occupations (Titus 3)
- Candidates for the ministries and deaconess work are recruited
- Christianity in the family is strengthened through emphasis on the use of the Bible in the development of moral standards
- Christian fellowship and lifelong friendships are fostered and developed
- Students want the Gospel always to be preached in the church
- Lutheran High Graduates become employees who can take responsibility
- Lutheran High Schools help parents train their children in the ways of God
- Lutheran High Schools help the church teach young people in the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Christian way of life
- Lutheran High Schools insist on quality in education
In October, 1969, the following congregations were incorporated in an Association under the state laws of Michigan: Gethsamane, Rochester; St. John, Rochester; St. Stephen, Drayton Plains; Our Shepherd, Birmingham; Christ, Milford; Trinity, Mt. Clemens; Immanuel, Mt. Clemens; Cross of Christ, Bloomfield Hills; Trinity, Pontiac; St. Matthew, Walled Lake; St. Peter, Mt. Clemens; St. John, New Haven; Peace, Utica; Our Redeemer, Washington.
After all avenues for funding the purchase of property for Lutheran High School North had been contacted and the result that funding was not available, it was suggested by Mr. Roy Plauman that the Association would sell bonds to those interested in this venture of Christian Education. The Association accepted the suggestion and bonds were sold, and $63,000 had been received for notes.
On October 10, 1967, a special meeting of the Site Committee was called to consider the Eschenberg Family Farm located on Hall Road, consisting of 40 acres. It was agreed to pay the sum of $125,000, which was the Realtor's appraised price for the land. Lacking the funds to purchase the land and having applied to various agencies for a loan and been refused, a meeting was called for April 30, 1969. In order to secure the option, Mr. Harold Schimke, a teacher at Immanuel in Waldenburg, loaned the committee $1,000. The option was secured with final closing taking place on December 16.
Following the purchase of the Eschenberg property, a modern miracle with God's blessings happened in our midst as the sale of that same property gave the Association the money to acquire properties for the two Lutheran High School sites, one in the east on 24 Mile and Romeo Plank Roads and the other in the west at Drake and Maple Roads. Through this miracle, God blessed the people, who had the Dream, by placing His stamp of approval on their venture of Faith of having Lutheran Secondary Education in the North suburban area. The funds received from this property also gave the Association the opportunity to open Lutheran High School North in September of 1972. As God took a few loaves of bread in Galilee so God was able to take $1,000 and turn this into Lutheran High School properties and, as God used men like David and Moses for His purposes, so God uses people today for His purpose providing we submit to His will.
The Lord has blessed Lutheran High School North in its first year of operation with seventy-seven (77) students enrolled under the direction of a highly qualified and dedicated staff.
Much has changed since the opening of Lutheran High North in 1972. But one thing has certainly remained constant - God's grace and abundant blessing.
Following its first academic year, Lutheran North's location was changed to 24 Mile and Romeo Plank - not the current site but rather the former day school facility of St. Peter Lutheran Church. That building plus portables, served well for the 150 9th-11th graders enrolled for the 1973-74 term. During that year construction began on the new and permanent Lutheran High North facility. But that new facility was adequate in size only for the first year of occupancy. In 1975 four portable classrooms were put in place - two more were added in 1976 and another in 1978.
Needless to say, enrollment grew steadily, almost alarmingly during those years. In the fall of 1978, 525 students were enrolled. That term marked a notable change at Lutheran High North. Mr. Al Wingfield, the school's founding principal, accepted a call to Concordia College, River Forest. Mr. Dale Cooper assumed the principal ship that year. Cooper had served Lutheran North as teacher and administrator since 1973. North was granted accreditation by the University of Michigan Bureau of School Services in 1978. North Central Accreditation was granted in 1980.
From 1980 to 1982 a complete study was made of enrollment projections. The findings clearly pointed out the need to expand facilities. Year by year North was attracting a higher percentage of its feeder schools' eighth grade graduates plus the school was becoming more attractive to the community at large. The Board of Directors decided in 1982 to expand - it approved an addition of 27,000 square feet at a cost of 1.1 million dollars. The new wings were ready for operation in the fall of 1983. That year the school's enrollment soared to 650.
Enrollment has grown steadily over the last several years. This year, 585 students attend Lutheran High North. God has indeed blessed the ministry of Lutheran High North. Traditions of excellence in academic preparation and commitment to spiritual growth have been carried forth year by year by the consecrated men and women who have made up the teaching faculty of Lutheran High North.
We must now respect the traditions and past that have gone before while looking to the future with vision and courage to continue to drive LHN through the 21st century.