Steward Health Care Acquires Naming Rights to Wellesley Sports Center, Joins as Strength, Conditioning and Physical Therapy Partner

Wellesley, MA – The Wellesley Sports Center and its managing partner ESG Associates (EDGE Sports Group) announced today that Steward Health Care has acquired naming rights for the new sports complex, and will serve as its physical therapy, strength, and conditioning partner. The facility, scheduled to open this summer, will be named the Boston Sports Institute, a Steward Family Facility, consistent with the key role that Steward will play within the new complex. Steward Health Care will operate a new 6,890 square-foot practice within the facility, offering sports medicine and wellness services. St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, a Steward Family Hospital, will be the facility’s official hospital.

“Steward Health Care’s focus on building healthy communities makes them a natural partner for the new sports complex,” said Brian DeVellis, president of ESG Associates and managing partner of the Boston Sports Institute. “By joining forces with Steward, we are strengthening the center’s offerings and its ability to serve as a community resource for the athletes, families and residents of Wellesley and its surrounding communities.”

The development of Steward’s program at the sports center gives athletes convenient access to conditioning to stay in peak shape, as well as training to prevent injuries, and provides immediate on-sight care in the event of an injury, plus rehabilitative post-injury care. The center is an extension of the exceptional sports medicine and wellness services Steward provides at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Massachusetts.

“The establishment of our Wellesley physical therapy and training center is an exciting new chapter in our extension of care in the communities we serve,” said Dr. Thomas Gill, IV, chairman of the Department of Orthopedics at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, and former team physician for the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, and Boston Bruins. “Our skilled trainers, physical therapists and physicians are proud to offer their expertise to help ensure the athletes we care for are always at the top of their game.”

“We look forward to serving the Greater Boston community and have a number of exciting things on tap that will set our program apart and make it a go-to destination for area athletes and their families,” said Dr. Michael Callum, president of Steward Medical Group. “We’re proud to be a part of this wonderful community resource and play a vital role in helping keep the community well.”

In addition to hosting local youth and high school programs in ice and sled hockey, figure skating, aquatics and turf programs, the Boston Sports Institute will support its patrons and townspeople with a best-in-class pro shop, grab-and-go café, strength training, educational tutors and therapy tenants.

Tenants of the sports complex include Charles River Aquatics, Inspirica, Terrier Sports, Profiler’s Edge and Driscoll Skating Skills. In addition, the Wellesley Sports Center will serve as home to Wellesley Youth Hockey, Wellesley Youth Lacrosse, Wellesley High School, MassBox Lax, Wellesley Scoops Field Hockey, Wellesley United Soccer Club, Boston Bolts Soccer, Jr. Eagles Hockey Club, and Dana Hall.

For more information, visit https://bostonsportsinstitute.com/.

About the Boston Sports Institute, a Steward Family Facility
The Boston Sports Institute, a Steward Family Facility, is conveniently located on Worcester Street (Route 9 eastbound) in Wellesley, Massachusetts, minutes from Interstate 95 and the Massachusetts Turnpike and less than 30 minutes from Boston. In addition, Wellesley has three stops on the MBTA Commuter Rail line into Boston. The Boston Sports Institute, a Steward Family Facility, is a 130,000 square foot state-of-the-art sport and recreation destination housing twin ice sheets, an indoor synthetic turf field with elevated track, a warm lesson pool and a 13 lane / 25 yard competition pool, a strength and conditioning center, sports pro-shop, full service concessions and ancillary tenants. The Boston Sports Institute, a Steward Family Facility, is being developed and professionally managed by EDGE Sports Group (ESG Associates Incorporated), a leader in the design, development and operations of public / private recreational facilities from the East Coast to the Midwest.

About ESG Associates Inc (EDGE Sports Group)
ESG Associates Inc. is a leader in the design, development and operations of public and private recreational facilities. The company brings over 25 years of private and public recreational design experience and offers the full gamut of strategic and operational services. ESG helps clients navigate public processes at the local, state and federal levels; works with private capital and conventional lenders to obtain financing; and establishes the programming and operational framework required to sustain the model. Services include assessment, feasibility and market studies; design, permit and construction management; programming and operations.

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, A Steward Family Hospital | https://www.semc.org/ 

Boston Sports Institute External

Energy-Efficient Sports Hub 3

Located in a suburb of MetroWest Boston, the Boston Sports Institute in Wellesley, Mass., is a 130,000-square-foot multi-use recreation facility with two hockey ice arenas, a synthetic turf field, track, pool, warm-up pool, sports rehabilitation area and strength training space. Located in a collegiate town, the facility provides ice and pool time for local schools, and can be rented out for private organizations and sports groups.

Designed by PDA Inc., Natick, Mass., in connection with design-builder Dacon Corp., Natick, Barnes Buildings and Management Group Inc., Weymouth, Mass., was the project builder and installer. Completed in July 2019, the project presented a number of challenges, including an increased condensation risk from the high interior relative humidity levels of the pools (60%) and ice rinks (48%), which is minimized via thermal insulation.

A variety of energy conservation measures were incorporated into the building to address the operation challenges of multiple high-energy demand environments. Loop systems with heat exchangers and circulation pumps reclaim thermal energy from the ice rinks to heat the pool. And, LED lighting and high-efficiency water heaters are used for ice resurfacing, along with an ammonia refrigeration system. Additionally, the facility’s 100,000-square-foot roof and electrical infrastructure is set up for a 900kW photovoltaic array to be installed at a later date.

To meet the functional and aesthetic project goals, an exterior wall assembly consisting of 58,000 square feet of insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span, Lewisville, Texas, in a tri-color pattern of Smoke Gray, Polar White and Sandstone provides a weather enclosure, insulation, and an air and vapor barrier. The facility is a metal building system from Houston-based Metallic Building Co., built around the shell of the pool, which was used for the 2012 Olympic trials, that was shipped to the site.

Kevin Provencher, AIA, LEED AP, director of architecture at Dacon, says IMPs are an effective solution for multiuse facilities with variable environmental requirements. “Both ice rinks and natatoriums have high moisture loads, but the ice rinks’ temperature will be maintained at 55 F while the pools are at 82 F. It’s an ideal wall system for a facility with demanding environmental needs.”

To hide the rooftop equipment, a parapet on the gable end of the building above the pool starts low at the eaves and grows to 3 feet at the peak. An accent band made with Metl-Span’s 7.2 Rib single-skin panels starts near the top of the building and continues horizontally from the windows.

More than 75% of the roofing is Metallic Buildings’ double-lock standing seam roof system in Galvalume. Metl-Span’s CFR IMPs in Galvalume are used for the roofing above the pool. The IMPs start approximately 35 feet from the roof peak so the top section is the standing seam panels. At the transition, the roofline drops 1 foot. The interior skin on the roofing and wall IMPs in the pool area are coated with Flurothane IV, a finish formulated to withstand corrosive environments from Minneapolis-based Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings.

“Our client wanted a strong visual impact on the north façade facing the state highway,” Provencher adds. “When passing other commercial buildings, commuters notice this vibrant design featuring vertical and horizontal panels.”

Original Article: https://www.metalarchitecture.com/articles/energy-efficient-sports-hub

Boston Sports Institute Ice Rink Stand View

Facilities and Public-Private Joint Ventures

Many municipalities, schools and colleges offering sports programs are finding themselves in a facilities crunch. Often, their existing facility is in dire need of an upgrade, and their needs may have changed since their current facility was constructed. Maybe facility management is not their strong suit and they would prefer to hand their future build over to a professional management team. Or it may be all about the financials, with needs being a portion of the total slots available.

That’s where Brian DeVellis and ESG Associates comes in. The Massachusetts-based firm excels at public-private collaboration on year round athletic facilities, helping its clients cover all bases — venue design, permitting, construction oversight and operations. DeVellis is the President of ESG Associates and, with a background in law and landscape architecture, has been developing partnerships with towns and schools that work for everyone.

“Groups call us telling us, ‘There’s a Request for Proposal (RSP) out and we want you to respond to it’,” DeVellis says. “It’s a phenonemon that’s been taking off over the past decade,” he says. “We’re riding the wave, and the towns we’re in appreciate it.”

 

Town of Wellesley and ESG

One of their current projects is the Wellesley Sport Center, a massive 130,000 sq. ft. which will be housing twin rinks, swimming pools, a turf field, fitness, strength and conditioning areas as well as concessions. This is a public-private partnership between ESG and the Town of Wellesley, MA, , slated for opening in the spring of 2019.

The Town brought the land to the table: the Center is being built on land where a church once was. ESG responded to, and was awarded the RFP and negotiated a 50-year land lease — taking the control, construction and future operation out of the hands of the Town. In return, the Town, its high school and youth sports groups, will be given first pick for time slots – rented at market rates. Any leftover slots will be available for rent to outside groups. Town residents will be given preferred use, and the Town will benefit from property taxes from the venue, estimated at $200,000/year.

“Most towns are spending money building fire stations and schools,” DeVellis says. “Sports facilities are a needed asset — but they’re also a luxury many towns can’t afford. That’s why partnering with us makes so much sense. By privatizing these types of facilities by and having us work hand-in-hand with existing recreation programs, we’re able to provide not only a facility, but a partner.”

Project Timeline

On any project, ESG begins with a feasibility study, ensuring there is enough demand to support a year-round facility with multiple sports.

“Then we design it, work with the lenders to bring in equity, get the permits, build it and bring in an operations team six months in advance to set up the programs.” DeVellis says the programming for a facility like the Wellesley Sports Center will run the gamut, offering activities for all age groups, from hockey to pickleball, lacrosse to walking tracks.

“With any project, we need to be sure the demand is for more than one season and one surface,” says DeVellis. “We also need to understand our audience to offer services that fill their needs, like tutoring and take-home meals for parents. We try to cater to the whole family. We know the sports season isn’t just one month, or just one athlete. It’s the whole family.”

ESG has developed half a dozen facilities so far and each one of them is different. Often ESG will manage the operations but sometimes they put together the employee handbook, hire and train the staff and then hand over the keys.

“All our employees undergo a C.O.R.I. check (Criminal Offender Record Investigation) and are fingerprinted. Safety is critical and background checks are one way we keep our facilities safe. We also keep up on training, use the best technology and look for the best staff.”

The Bottom Line

This summer will mark a turning point for ESG and let them expand their offerings to include large tournaments. By then, they will manage multiple facilities, all within 40 minutes of each other, all in the greater Boston area. That will give them the flexibility they need to run and attract large tournaments to Boston, leveraging their ice hockey development and events partner, The AXE Sports Group, owners of the prestigious Hockey Night in Boston.

And although ESG has a foothold in Massachusetts, they have worked on a wide variety of consulting projects across the country. That includes a multi-purpose rink, indoor turf field and retail in Florida, collaboration with State universities in Nebraska and Arizona and The Golf Club of New England, a 7,673 yard Arnold Palmer-designed championship course on the New Hampshire seacoast.

“We’re in this to turn a profit for our investors,” DeVellis says. “With each one we develop, we redefine our model and, hopefully, our investors agree!”

Posted by | Jan 23, 2019 | Re-Surfacing

Sports Complex Planned at The Downs in Scarborough

Sports Complex Planned at The Downs in Scarborough

The year-round athletic venue will feature a combination of amenities, including pools, ice rinks and indoor fields 

 

April 23, 2019 – SCARBOROUGH, Maine – The Downs development team, Crossroads Holdings LLC, today announces that ESG Associates Inc., a company specializing in recreational developments, has signed an agreement to pursue an athletic venue at The Downs. The Scarborough facility could include pools, ice rinks, indoor and outdoor fields, spectator areas, and other activity space. Currently, EDGE Sports Group (ESG) is conducting a feasibility study to determine what type of amenities should be included within The Downs facility.

 

“This is particularly exciting for us because we’ve long known that our community wants these types of athletic and recreational amenities,” says developer Roccy Risbara.

 

“The Town is pleased with the progress of The Downs project, particularly the accelerated pace of the non-residential buildout,” says Scarborough Town Manager Tom Hall. “The involvement of the Edge Sports Group and the construction of a commercial recreation center could serve as a catalyst to anchor the downtown portion of the project. We are eager to participate in the feasibility analysis and see if there is an opportunity for the project to meet the long-standing recreation needs of the community,” Hall says.

 

Founded in 2008, Massachusetts-based ESG has consulted on and created athletic venues, sports programs and organized league play throughout New England. The company creates “sports ecosystems” that are geared to meet the unique recreational goals of communities and deliver on unmet needs.

 

“Greater Portland is a growing region and is currently underserved in this capacity. We see a bright future for this type of athletic complex in Scarborough,” says Brian DeVellis, President of ESG Associates, Inc. “We look forward to this process and plan to design something specific to the recreational needs of the community and the region,” DeVellis says.

 

In early 2018, two lifelong Scarborough families purchased the 500-acre property at Scarborough Downs. Two sets of brothers – William, Marc and Rocco Risbara III, of Risbara Bros., and Peter and Richard Michaud, formerly of Michaud Distributors, purchased this property for $6.7M, after it had been on the market for nearly two decades.

 

The vision for the project is to create a mixed-use community that provides the right balance between residential, commercial and light industrial development in Scarborough. The master plan for The Downs preserves 200-acres of open space and creates ten-miles of recreational trails and sidewalks that will carry pedestrians from one end of the property to the other. The center of the project will be anchored by a downtown district, where the sports complex will be located. This venue will not disrupt or displace harness racing at Scarborough Downs, instead could act as a catalyst to increase visitors to the track.

 

The first phase of residential development at The Downs is underway, which includes 30 single-family homes, 48 condominiums and 48 apartment units. Within weeks, more than 50-percent of the units were sold or under contract.  A residential-scale memory care facility will also be under construction later this year as part of this area.

 

The second phase of development, the Innovation District is designed to attract light industrial, technology, manufacturing and retail end-users. This part of the project recently received preliminary subdivision approval from the Town’s Planning Board.  Development will begin this July, following final State and local approvals.

 

ESG intends to complete its due diligence this summer, with design and permitting immediately following. The facility could be open in Spring 2021.

 

Media Inquiries: Diana Nelson, press@thedowns.com, 978-985-9993

For more information: www.thedowns.com

EDGE renderings: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ati0spm8c1zu3qn/AAAnKQRTxCHYEU4V0XE8izoia?dl=0

Project renderings: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/551j7w6zmbloizk/AACCGveIQdHrhVgvL-Rt0pSWa?dl=0

To share your ideas: https://www.facebook.com/EDGESPORTSGROUP/

 

The Thayer Sports Center, with new hockey rink, nears completion

THAYER– The question “When will Thayer Academy have its own home ice hockey rink?” can now be definitively answered: by mid-summer.
The Thayer Sports Center, built and operated by the Edge Group on land leased from Thayer, is nearing completion at the South Athletic Campus. It will house one and a half ice sheets along with a spacious viewing area overlooking the ice. There will be locker rooms for players, rooms for trainers and officials, a fitness facility, and a concession stand, among other amenities. The Thayer Sports Center will also have an indoor, multi-sport playing field that will convert to tennis courts in the spring. All told, the complex will measure roughly 86,000 square feet.
Van Whisnand ’62, a former co-captain of one of Thayer’s earliest hockey teams, has pledged $500,000 of the $1,000,000 needed to name the center’s rink in honor of Arthur Valicenti ’51, P ’75, ’75, ’77 GP ’10, ’14, the longtime coach (and former athletic director) who founded Thayer’s hockey program in 1958.
“All of this traces back to Arthur Valicenti,” Whisnand said.
Funds raised through the challenge will provide support for the $2,000,000 that Thayer is allocating to ensure that the Thayer Sports Center meets fully the needs of its hockey programs.
Video presentations and detailed renderings of the sports complex were available during the 22nd annual Valicenti Cup, which was held Feb. 22 at Warrior Ice Arena in Boston. There, Head of School Ted Koskores ’70 P ’10, ’13, Athletic Director Rick Foresteire P ’19, ’21, and Valicenti thanked the Thayer community for its support. Valicenti noted that, once the new rink is complete, the Academy will have a state-of-the-art hockey venue that rivals the best the ISL has to offer.
From humble beginnings, the Thayer Academy hockey program is a perennial powerhouse in one of the most competitive high school hockey leagues in the United States. Among others, notable alumni include: David Silk ’76; Jeremy Roenick ’88; Tony Amonte ’89, P ’16, ’18, ’19, ’23; Mike Mottau ’96; David Gove ’98; and Brooks Orpik ’98. Amonte now coaches the boys varsity squad.
Brian Cibelli coaches the girls varsity program, which was added in 1997 and has qualified for the NEPSAC tournament two of the past three years. Notable alumni on the women’s side include Melissa Piacentini ’12, Kelcie Finn ’13, Katy Meehan ’17, Darby Melia ’17, and Emily Smith ’18.
The South Athletic Campus is located approximately 1.5 miles from Thayer’s Main Campus.
To see a drone video of the project and learn more about donation opportunities,please click here.

Written by: Thayer Academy

Crosswinds Golf Course

In Wellesley, new sports center is worth the wait

WELLESLEY — Communities often dream of creating new indoor athletic facilities to benefit children, adults, and high school teams.

It took the closing of St. James the Great Church — and several years of planning — for such a dream to be realized in Wellesley. Next spring, a sparkling facility is scheduled to open with two ice rinks, two swimming pools, a strength and conditioning center, and a turf field with an elevated track.

The hoped-for December opening of the Wellesley Sports Center was pushed back due to bad weather and the inability to secure gas service to the site, according to the project’s builder, ESG Associates Inc. Non-emergency gas service projects have been delayed by the monthslong lockout of union gas workers by National Grid.

“Natural gas is essential for everything from heating the buildings and hot water to running the dehumidifiers for the ice rinks,” said Brian DeVellis, president of ESG, which will also operate the completed facility.

The new timeline depends upon gas being installed by March 2019, the statement said.

Once the center opens, preferred ice and pool times will be given to the high school, Dana Hall, Wellesley Youth Hockey, and the Wellesley Swim Association. The center will also offer recreational skating and pool times to the public. In addition, the facility will be available to rent to other area organizations and sports groups.

“We’ll be able to change our dinner hours,” said Jennifer Dutton, coach of the girls’ and boys’ swim teams at Wellesley High. “I haven’t been home for dinner for almost 20 years.”

Wellesley’s boys’ and girls’ hockey teams have practiced and played games at nearby Babson College for many years. They had hoped to be the first teams to play in the Wellesley Sports Center this month.

However, the construction delay has forced the teams to seek ice time at other facilities. Wellesley High athletic director John Brown has worked out most of the scheduling with Babson, as well as surrounding facilities.

Once the rinks open, “it will be nice for the players to eliminate 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. practices out of town,” said boys’ hockey coach Paul Donato. “We’re really looking forward to a first-class facility in Wellesley.”

“We’ve practiced all hours of the day,” said Dutton, the swim coach. “It’s pretty amazing something like this can happen in Wellesley.”

“There was a strong need for recreational resources in town,” said Wellesley’s planning director, Michael Zehner. Buying the St. James site was “a unique way for it to happen.”

The Boston archdiocese closed St. James in 2004 and eventually sold the property to the town for $3.8 million, with additional costs for demolition, abatement, and study bringing the total to about $4.5 million, according to town officials. In 2015, the church’s dusty walls came down.

In 2017, the town signed a long-term lease with Wellesley Sports Group LLC, a development team led by DeVellis. ESG is responsible for building, controlling, and operating the facility.

“This complex is an excellent example of what can be done with public/private partnerships,” DeVellis said.

One rink will seat about 1,000 people, which would accommodate the crowds expected when Wellesley High plays archrivals like Needham and Natick.

“I’m excited,” said Brown, anticipating the grand opening. “When it’s done it’s going to be beautiful.”

Dutton, the swim coach, said “I hope things go as planned. Things happen, things pop up some times.” And so they have, not unusual in major building projects.

But the future looks bright. “I’ve spent 10 years of my life on this,” said Andy Wrobel, who was on the planning committee. “I couldn’t be prouder. It’s the legacy we’ll leave behind.”

 

Lenny Megliola | Boston Globe

  Lenny Megliola can be reached at lennymegs41@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter @lennymegs.

The basics of Wellesley’s new sports complex

The Wellesley Board of Selectmen has approved the ground lease for 900 Worcester St., former site of the St. James the Great church. The next step is a Special Town Meeting on April 3. The Townsman asked Meghan Jop, Wellesley’s assistant executive director, to bring readers up to date on what’s been going on with the long process of transforming the vacamt site into the home of a new recreational complex.

Under the current proposal, what will be built inside and outside at the site?

Two NHL size hockey rinks, 10 lanes (25 yards) lengthwise to bulkhead, plus three lanes (25 yards) widthwise and a smaller (50′ x 25′) warm water teaching/therapy pool, an indoor 90′ x 150′ (suitable for 7v7 high school soccer) turf field, fitness area with physical therapy (4,800 sf) and strength and conditioning (6,600 sf). The facility will also have concessions.

What is the projected completion date?

The project completion date will be dependent on permitting, but the developer is anticipating a fall 2018 opening.

Who is the developer?

The development team is the Wellesley Sports Group, LLC. The team is led by Brian DeVellis. Brian is president of the Edge Sports Group located in Bedford, Mass. Additional information, including past projects , can be found at:

http://www.wellesleyma.gov/Pages/WellesleyMA_900/RFP_Responses/Marathon2.pdf

Who will have priority for use of the facility? What will the schedule look like Wellesley vs. other groups?

The schedules are in the Lease Exhibits and can be found at the same site:

http://www.wellesleyma.gov/Pages/WellesleyMA_900/RFP_Responses/Marathon2.pdf

What outside groups will be able to use it?

The project will be a commercial enterprise and any outside group will be able to use or rent available time at the facility.

Will Wellesley residents not connected with schools or teams be able to use the facilities? Can they sign up for a pool pass, for instance? Will there be a charge to them?

This is a commercial facility. The town under the terms of the lease will receive preferred ice and pool times for the high school, Dana Hall, Wellesley Youth Hockey, and Wellesley Swim Association at market rate costs.

In addition, Brian DeVellis told the Townsman, “We will have recreational public skating and open pool times throughout the week and weekends.”

DeVellis also said, “We are continuing to refine the pro forma and operating model … but the plan is to have available for Wellesley residents the purchase of yearly ‘memberships’ allowing use of the pool, turf, track and ice during open sessions with a discounted rate for seniors and military.

Will there be a charge for parking? How many parking places will there be?

To my knowledge, there will not be a charge for parking, and the final design has not been completed. Under the zoning proposed for the site, parking would be required at a rate of one space for every three spectator seats, but not less than one space per 1,000 square feet of floor area of buildings. The site currently consists of approximately 1,100 seats – so at present the site would be required to have 367 spaces.

How much rent will the town get from the lease? How will that money be used?

There is a lease payment schedule that can be found in the exhibits. All funds would be directed to the general fund.

What costs will the town incur?

The town will not incur costs for the construction of the facility.

Who will be responsible for maintenance?

The tfown is entering into a land lease and will not be responsible for the site, structure, or operation. The town is authorizing the developer to control, construct, and operate a facility for at least 50 years on the site.

What was the original cost to the town of buying the site, and how is that being paid off? What will be the final price, with interest?

The town appropriated $5,083,694 for the acquisition of the site and church demolition. The total spent to date is approximately $4,600,000. The remaining funds will be reallocated to another town project. The town has financed the cost with 30-year, level payment with an annual debt service of $295,000. The site also has an initial estimate of property taxes in the amount of $200,000 a year.

Once the facility is built, who will oversee it? Will the committee remain in place to ensure there are no problems?

The town is entering into a land lease with the developer. The facility will not be owned or operated by the town.

Have hours of operation been set?

The schedules indicate the hours of operation as 6 a.m. to midnight. This will require finalization in permitting.

What will Special Town Meeting be asked to do?

STM will be asked to authorize the selectmen to enter into the lease as drafted, to modify the zoning and zoning map to allow for the use and construction, and to authorize the School Committee to enter into agreements with the developer to use the ice and pool.

By Cathy Brauner | Wicked Local Wellesley

Edge Sports Group Unveils Plan for New Worcester Hockey Rinks

WORCESTER — Three years after his plan to have a hockey rink built in the parking lot near the Worcester Public Library failed, Craig L. Blais, president and chief executive of the Worcester Business Development Corporation believes he’s found a more suitable location in the Canal District. Mr. Blais said the WBDC has been negotiating for two years with GKN Sinter Metals to acquire the former PresMet Corp. site at Harding and Winter streets, and he expects to complete the purchase with brownfield grants between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The WBDC would demolish the former powder metal parts manufacturing plant, which has been closed since 2007, clean up the 3.5-acre site by June 1, 2016,and lease it to Edge Sports Group, which would finance, build, own and manage the facility that will house two rinks, a pro shop, eight locker rooms, a restaurant, offices and possibly a physical therapy room. Edge Sports Group’s Harry Angevine said the plan is to complete construction by August 2017.

“The goal in building this facility,” Mr. Angevine said, “is to provide a much-needed source of ice time, as well as an endeavor to rejuvenate the neighborhood, to bring a lot more foot traffic into the neighborhood.”

Edge Sports Group of Providence has broken ground on a hockey facility in Middleton and is negotiating to build one in Devens, Mr. Angevine said. Mr. Angevine’s business partner, Brian DeVellis, developed and owns another hockey facility in Bedford.Mr. Blais estimated purchasing the property, demolishing the building and cleaning the site would cost $3 million, and Mr. Angevine said construction would cost another $12-$15 million.

In 2012, a proposal by Mr. Blais and the WBDC to build a hockey facility on the city parking lot outside of the Worcester Public Library was opposed by the library’s board of directors and never materialized.Mr. Blais said a WBDC feasibility study found a demand exists for the ice time, and that several local colleges and youth hockey leagues have expressed interest in playing at the proposed facility.

Mr. Angevine said he believes the need exists for four ice rinks, but the site lacks the room.Worcester State University Athletic Director Michael Mudd, former president of the Worcester Sharks American Hockey League team, said WSU “would be very interested in renting ice time for practices and games” for its men’s hockey team, and would consider a women’s hockey program.“I think the project would impact the city in a positive fashion,” Mr. Mudd said. “There continues to be a demand for ice time in New England for youth hockey, adult hockey and figure skating.”

Mr. Blais said the WBDC conservatively estimates that the facility would attract 50,000 users to the rinks each year. He added that the rinks will operate 18 to 20 hours a day, seven days a week, year round. Multiple-rink facilities attract multiday tournaments, so players and fans often stay at local hotels.

“It’s going to bring a lot of people to the area,” Mr. Blais said, including “college students, kids, parents, youth organizations, parents dropping off kids for practice and looking for things to do in the Canal District. We think it’s going to be a good boon for the area.” Mr. Blais, Mr. Angevine, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. and Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Timothy P. Murray met with Canal District business leaders to assure them that the design of the building would fit in with the architecture of the district.“

We’re much more on board,” Canal District Alliance president Mullen Sawyer. “What was very clear to our group was that they wanted to work with all the businesses in the Canal District to make the facility all that it could be, and that they are looking at a full-year operation. We were afraid that it might be shuttered significantly in summer months, which is our critical time, and the architect committed to a design charrette with all of our businesses. So we’re thrilled with the opportunity.”

Mr. Murray is a big believer in the project, and because he’s played in a men’s hockey league at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro the past two years, he knows firsthand about the financial impact such a facility can have.“I think it’s going to be a real shot in the arm,” Mr. Murray said, “in terms of bringing people into the city, spending money and having a unique experience.”

“It’s great for the neighborhood,” said Michael E. Traynor, the city’s chief development officer, “to take that abandoned, polluted site, to get it cleaned up and put it into active use. There’s definitely a demand for hockey, whether it be at the youth level, the college level and having a home rink for the various Worcester-based organizations and schools, it’s great.”

The only ice rink currently open to the public in Worcester is the state-owned Buffone Arena on Lake Avenue.

By Bill Doyle | Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Senator Barrett Praises Local Support of US Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team

Massachusetts State Sen. Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) presents a Senate citation to the US women’s Olympic hockey team, which trained at The Edge in Bedford. Courtesy image

On a frigid January evening weeks before the Sochi Olympic Games, State Sen. Mike Barrett praised the US women’s national hockey team as “role models” and “leaders.”

The team, with a roster of top players from across the country, has made their home in the local area for the past several months. The entire squad has been training at The Edge in Bedford, while many players are staying with Concord families.

Inside The Edge, scores of young girls who play for the East Coast Wizards youth teams circled the ice, taking photos and collecting autographs from their heroes.

Barrett — the local State Senator for Bedford, Concord and surrounding towns — presented the national team with an official Senate citation for their time spent in the area.  Addressing them at center ice, he said, “You represent the very best of amateur athletics.  When you look around today it’s clear that so many kids look up to you.  You’re role models not only for young girls but young boys as well.”

Barrett also praised the local support the team has received, in particular host families, who welcomed women they didn’t know into their homes, as a way to make the experience convenient and allow them to feel at home.  “We’re behind you all the way.”

The team’s training over the past several months has included intense workouts, long practices, film study and exhibition games.  But they also found time to visit the cape, go apple picking and explore historic local sites.  They travel to Russia in the coming days to play team Finland on February 8th, puck drop at 3am Eastern Time.

The Bedford Citizen

US Womens Hockey Team find home at Bedford’s EDGE

BEDFORD — Outside the Edge Sports Center, it’s an unseasonably warm November afternoon. Inside, 25 hockey players in red, white, and blue practice jerseys dream of cold, gray Russian winter days. They skate through drill after drill, slapping their sticks on the

ice for good play and goals scored. They go for nearly 2½ hours, taking only the briefest break for ice resurfacing.

This is the US women’s national hockey team at work. “Training camp is always tough and everyone’s super sore,” said forward Kelli Stack, a former Boston College standout who hopes to make her second Olympic squad. “But it’s definitely helped us bond as a team and develop on and off-ice chemistry.” For women’s hockey, the road to the Sochi Olympics runs through suburban Boston.

Since early September, the team has been training at the Edge in Bedford and working with strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle in Woburn. And the players have made themselves at home off the ice, taking up residence in Concord, Waltham, Winchester,

Woburn, and elsewhere. While some players room together in apartments, one-third billet with host families. The team hopes its quiet, hockey-focused life in Bedford and surrounding towns, places far from the Olympic spotlight, will translate to a gold-medal run. The United States and Canada are favorites for the Olympic title, with Finland in the mix.

“This is our main priority right now, in terms of time,” said defenseman Josephine Pucci, who took a break from her studies at Harvard to focus on making her first Olympic team and lives with a host family in Winchester. “Everything we do revolves around this. We’re here [at the rink] basically the whole day. I’ll leave my house around 9 a.m. and not get back until 4 or 5 p.m. on most days.

“[With months together], we have the opportunity to get to know each other as people, get used to each other’s style of play each and every day. We can get used to each other’s habits, know how to adjust to each other, and try to bring out the best in each other.”

Knowing that 80 days remain until the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 7, coach Katey Stone remarked that the Sochi Games are approaching with almost unbelievable speed. The women’s team will spend the next couple months training in Bedford, playing in exhibition games across the United States and Canada, finalizing its Olympic roster, and fine-tuning the lines. The 21 players headed to Russia will be determined in late December and announced Jan. 1 during the second intermission of the NHL’s annual Winter Classic.

No matter who makes the final cut, the team will have a strong Boston connection. Many of the players are very familiar with the city, having grown up here, or gone to college in the area, or both. Others have played for the Boston Blades in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

Of the 25 players training in Bedford, 14 have some Boston-area tie, including nine who have played at local colleges. Stone, who holds the record for most wins by a Division 1 women’s hockey coach (402), took a year’s leave from her post as Harvard’s coach to focus on her duties with the Olympic team.

“I’d like to say we’re right where we want to be, but we’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Stone. “We’re still carrying 25 players, so the biggest focus right now is giving these kids a little bit more time to prove themselves to get on this roster. We’ve had a bunch of games with Canada. We went up to Four Nations and learned a lot of lessons there.

After finishing third in the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., earlier this month, the players know nothing is guaranteed, even though the United States and Canada have dominated international women’s hockey. The US team won gold when women’s hockey made its Olympic debut at the 1998 Games. But since then, the Canadians have taken the title and the US team has gone home from the 2002 and 2010 Olympics with silver and from the 2006 Games with bronze.

Understandably, it’s the rivalry with Canada that gets the United States fired up and, occasionally, ready to fight.

That was the case when the US team played Canada in their first exhibition game last month in Burlington, Vt. Late in the game, American forward Monique Lamoureux collided with Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados. Then, standing up for her goalie, Canadian defenseman Courtney Birchard pursued Lamoureux. That prompted Lamoureux’s twin sister, Jocelyne, and others on the US team to go after the Canadians and a fight ensued.

Stack was one of the players in the middle of the fray. She thought Lamoureux was making a play at the net, not intentionally going after the Canadian goalie. But if the situation was reversed, Stack could see the American defensemen standing up for the US goalie.

“You don’t see fights too often in women’s hockey, but that’s how intense we are and how much we care about our teammates,” said Stack. “The rivalry with Canada, that’s why all of us who are out of college are probably still playing. We are the two best teams in the world when we want to be. So, the competition is unbelievable. When people watch us play, it’s kind of the best hockey in the world, even compared to NHL hockey. I don’t think people give female hockey players enough credit. The hockey fans that are out there get a great treat when they see a Canada-US game because we’re both so passionate about what we do. And we love winning, especially when it’s against Canada. So, it’s going to be a battle.”

The United States and Canada will play four more exhibition games before the Olympics. So, that leaves plenty of opportunity for the rivalry to intensify and plenty of motivation for practices at the Edge.

By Shira Springer | The Boston Globe

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