For years, our community has desired a year-round indoor facility for both athletic and non-athletic programming. This has been expressed through multiple surveys and conversations with stakeholders and community members. A fieldhouse will not just be a place for athletes, but a facility for the entire family that will provide ample recreational and wellness opportunities. Further, the Fieldhouse will provide a safe place for kids and teens to gather for organized activities throughout the entire year.
Parks and Recreation leadership has been mindful of presenting a reasonably priced opportunity to the community and has researched construction costs and operational funding models when deciding between a fieldhouse and a recreation center. Recently designed recreation centers are projecting to cost at least twice as much as fieldhouses on a per square foot basis. Ongoing expenses, such as utilities and staff, are also more cost-efficient in the fieldhouse model. Programs and field rental pricing will be competitive when compared to similar local facilities, with an emphasis on providing as many opportunities as possible at no cost to our residents.
The most important factor is the availability of land required to complete a project that fits the needs of the community today. Developers are rushing to gain control of large parcels, meaning in the coming years the opportunities will only continue to dwindle. The rising costs of land, labor, materials, and increasing interest rates also gives urgency to complete the project at the lowest possible burden to the community. Lastly, there is a desire to stay true to New Albany’s small-town feel, and this fieldhouse will contain growth in New Albany to avoid overcrowding the schools and roadways by eliminating future development inventory within the school district.