Project Profile: Metal Roofing at Boston Sports Institute

The Versatility of Insulated Metal Panels Drives Sport Facility’s Efficient Design in Suburban Boston

Sports facilities are unique environments that face varying environmental conditions from both within and outside the structure. In evaluating building materials, client and builder seek proven solutions for meeting environmental requirements, codes and long-term durability without forsaking the art of design.

Enter the new Boston Sports Institute (BSI), a 130,000 square foot multi-use recreation facility in Wellesley, a suburb of Metro West Boston. A collegiate town and activities hub for surrounding residential communities, Wellesley lacked a professional grade sports facility. Featuring two NHL ice arenas, a synthetic turf field, indoor track, repurposed 2012 Olympic trial pool, warm-up pool, sports rehabilitation area and strength training facility, this $23.3 million complex was completed in July 2019. Centered on a public-private partnership model between the town and the management company Edge Sports Group, BSI prioritizes ice and pool time for local schools who previously traveled to professional facilities. It is also rentable for private organizations and sports groups.

“We were committed to using insulated metal panels from the earliest design stages, both for its performance and design flexibility,” states Kevin Provencher, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Architecture at the design builder Dacon Corporation. “We have a lot of history with this type of product on a variety of building types. It is an effective solution for multi-use facilities with variable environmental requirements. Both ice rinks and natatoriums have high moisture loads, but the ice rink’s temperature will be maintained at 55 degrees Fahrenheit while the pools are at 82 degrees. It’s an ideal wall system for a facility with demanding environmental needs.”

Provencher says insulated metal panels (IMPs) provide a total wall system that incorporates a continuous insulating layer with control layers for weather, air and vapor barriers.

“It helps that we partnered with a quality metal building builder,” Provencher says. “Collaboration was key to this project’s success. Selecting the right details and sharing responsibility eases the burden on the designer.”

Barnes Buildings & Management Group Inc. of Weymouth, Mass., a Metallic Building Company dealer, installed the insulated metal panels from Metl-Span as well as the engineered metal framing system. Tony Barnes oversaw the erection of the metal framing and challenging installation of 58,000 square feet of insulated metal panels. Tim Allison, the Vice President of Project Management at Barnes, oversaw project administration.

“We have a mixture of panel types in multiple colors that run in two orientations,” Allison says. “When we have just one type of panel and one color, we simply unwrap the bundle and install continuously. With multiple colors, you must spread out bundles so we can access the panels in the order needed. With this site, we didn’t have much room, so it was tricky. We paid close attention to the drawings and details to ensure correct installation.”

Allison says Barnes Buildings erects a lot of structures using engineered metal framing systems and IMPs. He’s noticed an architectural trend is using mixed colors and panel orientation to provide a unique aesthetic that is almost impossible to match with other building materials.

Metl-Span’s Smoke Gray, Polar White and Sandstone were installed to create an eye-catching aesthetic. “Our client wanted a strong visual impact on the north façade facing the state highway,” Provencher says. “When passing other commercial buildings commuters notice this vibrant design featuring vertical and horizontal panels. Tim Allison and Marty Barnes provided valuable input, influencing the final outcome.”

There are several unique details to BSI, including a parapet on the gable end of the building above the pool. It starts low at the eaves and grows to 3 feet at the peak to hide rooftop equipment. Barnes Buildings also installed an accent band near the top of the building, a single skin metal panel that continues horizontally from the windows. The 7.2 Rib panel from Metl-Span is 36 inches wide with ribs that are 1-1/2 inches deep.

The roofing for more than 75 percent of the building is a double lock standing seam from Metallic in bare Galvalume. The roofing above the pool is a bare Galvalume insulated metal panel, Metl-Span’s CFR system. It starts approximately 35 feet from the roof peak, so the top section of roofing is standing seam. At the transition to where the IMPs are above the pool, the roofline drops 1 foot. The interior skin on the roofing and wall IMPs in the pool area are coated with Valspar’s Flurothane IV, a finish formulated to protect in exceptionally harsh environments where chemical corrosion protection is needed.

“It’s all things we’ve dealt with on other projects, but there’s a little bit of everything on this one,” Allison says. “It’s a special job and a visually appealing project. The IMPs are ideally suited for our New England climate. When used as walls and roofing, they provide excellent continuous insulation on any building.”

Metl-Span is part of the Cornerstone Building Brands family (NYSE: CNR); delivering high-quality, durable and energy-efficient insulated metal panels designed for unparalleled performance to stand the test of time. For more information on Metl-Span products, call 877-585-9969 or visit

September 24th, 2019 | Roofing Contractor, The Official Publication of The International Roofing Expo

Boston Sled Hockey Players Finding Family and Freedom on the Ice

WELLESLEY, Mass. — For people with physical disabilities simple tasks can be major challenges. They plan ahead for everything. Even sports designed for athletes with disabilities can create obstacles.

“We have enough to adapt to in life,” said sled hockey player Brian Bardel. “We tend not to think about it and just overcome.”

But, there’s a new arena where sled hockey players can shed all that worry and just play. It’s the only one of its kind in New England.

Boston 25 News Anchor Kerry Kavanaugh visited the fully adaptive ice rink in Wellesley and met the players of the Boston Ice Storm, a Massachusetts sled hockey team.

The players say once they hit the ice, it’s almost like they shed their disabilities.

“I’m not Amy the Amputee. I’m Amy the hockey player,” Amy Pietrafitta told Kavanaugh. Pietrafitta suffered burns on over 25% of her body in an industrial accident in Florida. Through her rehabilitation, she found sled hockey.

Julia Hannke suffered a stroke three years ago that left her with paralysis. That’s what led her to the ice.

“It’s all-inclusive,” Hannke said. “If you want to play you’re welcome to play.”

Lucas Dias was shot multiple times in his back and neck. The native of Brazil also found sled hockey during rehabilitation. On the ice in his sled, Dias feels free. “Totally free,” he said. “Like the world is mine and I can do whatever I want.”

The team played a scrimmage game at the Wellesley Sports Complex, the only adaptive ice rink in New England.

“It’s very challenging sometimes to, you know, find stuff that you love to do,” said Will Fahey, a sled hockey player who has cerebral palsy.

The players all have very different stories, but on the ice, in their sleds, they share a common bond.

“I love gliding on the ice,” said Pietrafitta. “It’s amazing, just the speed that you can get. It’s so freeing just to be on the ice and be able to propel yourself.”

Despite the freedom on the ice, most hockey rinks aren’t outfitted for adaptive sports.

“You know when we play hockey we have to adapt to what’s thrown at us there too,” said Bardel. “Normally when we play, at another rink, we usually have to sit on the ice in the neutral zones.”

That’s what makes the Wellesley Sports Center unique. The players say it’s one of the only adaptive ice rinks in the country and the only one in New England.

“To have someone come out and build a rink for us and make it accessible, it means the world to us.”

From wheelchair accessible locker rooms to plexiglass-enclosed benches so players on sleds can still see the action, the accessibility enables players to focus on what’s important: the game and their team.

“This isn’t even a team. This is a family for me,” said Dias. “One of the things I’m most grateful for is meeting all these people.”

Among them, during a recent scrimmage, were players from Wellesley Youth Hockey.

They invited the Boston Ice Storm to share their ice time and play hockey their way.

They were no match for the Ice Storm.

But scrimmage wasn’t about not about keeping up. It was a lesson in understanding and coming together. As teammates who are so much more.

“…makes me feel loved and cared for and makes me feel happy,” said Dias.

“It’s a lifetime thing,” said Pietrafitta. “I found my family. I found a place and that feels really, really good.”

The scrimmage with Wellesley Youth Hockey was the first and only time the Ice Storm played at the new, adaptive rink. They hope that more and more facilities will realize the difference accessibility makes to the players and follow suit.

The Ice Storm is always looking for new players. For more information about the team click here.

By: Kerry KavanaughJason Solowski, and Thomas Korsak
Updated: December 31, 2019 – 9:17 AM

EDGE Sports Group’s Unique Approach to Facility Development

When the brand-new Boston Sports Institute in Wellesley, Mass., opens its doors this month, one of the primary amenities — the pool — will have already been around for seven years.

That pool, the subject of a 2012 story in this magazine was purchased by Boston’s Charles River Aquatics after being used in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. But beyond providing a second life for one pool, the facility offers a business model that could lead communities to reconsider how they build and manage sports facilities.

“Outside in the public, you’re hiring three different firms to collaborate on one project,” says Leslie Bove, controller with Bedford, Mass.-based EDGE Sports Group (ESG). “We combine sports management, in addition to the financial world, in addition to the architectural world. It’s definitely a model that you don’t see in the nation.”

Public private partnerships
The Boston Sports Institute is one of several facilities planned, designed, built and managed by ESG. The company operates a number of facilities throughout New England and has several projects in development. The 130,000-square-foot Wellesley Sports Center represents a public-private partnership between the Town of Wellesley and ESG, which means the company had to negotiate not only between community entities, but also with private equity firms to secure facility funding.

“Before the shovel goes in the ground, you put a lot of time into these — building the financials for a program and asking not one section of people, but two sections of people to buy into it and fund it,” Bove says.

In the case of the Sports Center, the shovel gave way to not only the pool, but two NHL-sized ice rinks and a synthetic turf field. “The Wellesley facility had to go through town procurement as far as the land goes,” she says. “So, we got the land from them that we pay a land lease on, and we get a tax break for it, letting the town use it and have preferential treatment as far as scheduling.”

In negotiations, community sports groups were able to secure the most in-demand times for their own programs. Says ESG operations director Chris Collins, “Part of the ground lease was that the Wellesley Swim Association, Wellesley High School Swimming, Wellesley Youth Hockey and Wellesley High School Hockey got preferred times on those surfaces.”

From there, ESG simply sells the remaining time to private groups. Even before the facility opened its doors, Collins estimated that more than 80 percent of the time remaining open for private groups had already been sold for the year. “There’s only a couple of hundred hours over the year that are unused right now, which is pretty amazing for a facility like this.”

Additional revenue streams
In addition to selling surface and pool time to sports groups, the Boston Sports Institute generates revenue from third-party tenants that lease space within the building, which ESG owns and operates.

“What we’ve tried to do is to create a nice little ecosystem around these facilities,” Collins says. “It’s an ecosystem of core users on the surfaces, along with the tenants, that create a self-sustaining environment.”

One such tenant is Steward Health Care, which will occupy 6,900 square feet of strength and conditioning and physical therapy space within the facility. The space will serve high-end fitness users and will also function as a training space for the teams that use the facilities.

Partnering with Steward Health Care provides an additional benefit: allowing athletes a one-stop shop for their sports performance and recovery needs. “The physical therapy is here, your team is playing here, your strength and conditioning is going to be here,” Collins says, adding, “It just rolls the patient through and truly helps the athlete recover.”

Inspirica Test Prep and Tutoring has signed on as another tenant and, according to Collins, will provide on-demand services to student-athletes already spending time at the facility. “What we’ve seen in our other facilities and in being around the sports world forever is that if you neglect the classroom, then you’re not playing at the next level,” he says.

Finally, the Boston Sports Institute is experimenting with a co-working space concept, an idea that came from being asked about office space at other projects. “One question we kept getting asked was, ‘Can I set up shop here? Do you guys have any office space for me?’ ” says Collins. “The answer was always no.”

With that in mind, the center was designed with a number of office spaces ranging in size from 100 to 250 square feet, wrapping around a central conference room which is available for rent. Mailboxes, copiers, printers — all the standard office equipment — will be made available in these spaces, but they aren’t available to just anyone.

“We’re not actively marketing it to Joe Schmo’s accounting firm down the street,” Collins says. “We’re actively targeting people of like mind to truly make it a unique space in the sports world.”

Bove adds that this concept will keep the facility active year-round. “There’s dead time, and a lot of places will close down at certain times of year,” she says. “Having a driving school here in the summertime when there’s no hockey in play or when everyone wants to be outside will keep generating activity in the building.”
By partnering with ESG, towns are able to leave the management of their sports facilities to the professionals while still getting an amazing facility for local groups.

“We come in and create the town’s dream ecosystem and truly knock it out of the park by adding all of our years and years of expertise, and different components and know-how,” Collins says. “These places need to be much more than a hockey rink, a pool, a turf field. It’s an entire community center.”

Informed programming

When programming of the Boston Sports Institute in Wellesley, Mass., EDGE Sports Group combines meeting the requirements set out by the RFP with studying the feasibility of potential programs.

“They gave us a list of things that they wanted and you get X-amount of points for a rink, X-amount of points for a turf field, X-amount of points for a track,” says Boston Sports Institute’s operations director Chris Collins. “That’s sort of their process.”

The result of that process is a facility with a wide array of sports options — including a competition pool, a smaller warm-up pool, an indoor synthetic turf field and two NHL-sized ice sheets — each made available at priority times to community sports organizations. Other groups are allowed to schedule use of the facilities at less premium times, a strategy that allows EDGE Sports Group to keep each program area busy.

“Learn-to-swim and swim lessons are very underserved. In most communities they’re an afterthought, but in reality they’re very important to keep pools alive and keep pools floating,” says Collins of the programming strategy around the aquatics area. “We needed to make sure that that lesson pool was accounted for so you can run your lessons in it from 7 a.m. all the way up until 8 p.m., and that doesn’t disrupt your regularly scheduled programming.”

Having dual ice surfaces was particularly important to addressing the community’s needs — as hockey-crazed Boston doesn’t have enough available ice time to support interest in the sport, according to Collins.

NHL-sized rinks enable the facility to play host to teams and players training for any level of the sport — from youth hockey all the way up to the professional and Olympic levels. “You’re more attractive to tournaments and college showcases, junior hockey teams — everything, if you have that NHL-sized sheet,” says Collins.

One of the facility’s ice sheets is ADA-compliant and sled-hockey compatible, a feature that Collins hopes will make the venue more visible to the U.S. Paralympic sled hockey team when it’s time to begin training for the next Games.

Boston and beyond

In addition to the Boston Sports Institute, EDGE Sports Group manages a number of other facilities in the northeast operating under the same sports ecosystem strategy — and there are plans for more.

“We’re approached once or twice a week with a new project in Massachusetts,” says Collins. “It’s all the time. It’s a good spot to be in.”

Collins notes that although the company is making inroads in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine and Rhode Island  it hopes to extend beyond the northeast and traditional sports center constituencies. Collins describes his vision for the “next evolution of the ecosystem,” encompassing child care and senior care, in addition to the more active and organized sports communities they currently serve.

What makes EDGE Sports Group an attractive partner, in Collins’ view, is their expertise.

“When we go out and talk to a lot of these towns about building these sports centers, we kind of start going over the model and it honestly blows their mind what we’re doing,” he says.

This article originally appeared in the July | August 2019 issue of Athletic Business with the title “From the ground up: Sports group brings unique approach to facility development, management.” Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry.

by Jason Scott | July 2019

Athletic Business, Boston Sports Institute

Boston Sports Institute

Wellesley, MA 2020

Project Description


Among the many features of the Boston Sports Institute, perhaps none is more famous than the pool. Used in the 2012 Olympic swimming trials, the pool was reconfigured by the team of Weston & Sampson Engineers, EDGE Sports Group and Myrtha Pools before being installed in the new, 130,000-square-foot multipurpose facility. The reconfigured pool changed the original 50-meter pool into a 10-lane, 25-yard “stretch” pool, allowing for three additional warm-up lanes. A bleacher-style spectator area is located a floor above allowing parents and fans to cheer on kids during meets without overwhelming the pool deck with people. A three-lane warm teaching pool is separated from the competition pool by a wall, allowing for simplified air temperature and humidity control.


The facility represents a public/private partnership between the Town of Wellesley and EDGE Sports Group. The town originally leased the land to allow for the construction of the facility, and EDGE moved in to build and operate the facility. In turn, local swimming and hockey teams get preferred access to the pool and hockey facilities.


The facility features two pools, two hockey rinks, an indoor turf field, sports training, physical therapy areas, as well as rentable party rooms and concessions areas. While priority is granted to local teams, the facility is open to the public and used by a wide variety of collegiate, club and master’s teams. The aquatic portion of the facility is managed by Charles River Aquatics, which coordinates the coaching of its club swim team and facility staffing, including lifeguards.

Project Details

Architect: ESG Associates Inc.
Construction Cost: N/A
Square Feet: 130,000
Occupancy: January 2019

Project Architects

Architect Of Record

ESG Associates Inc.
Bedford, MA

Aquatic Engineer

Weston & Sampson
Reading, MA

Project Vendors

Filtration Systems – : Neptune Benson Inc.

Starting Blocks – : Spectrum Aquatics

 Athletic Business – Elevating facilities, Enriching Programs, Empowering Leaders |

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

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 | 

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:

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,, 978-985-9993

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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 Follow on Twitter @lennymegs.

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