By Sadie Hunter
Major sports-development projects aren’t new to Hamilton County, and the City of Noblesville’s Nov. 29 announcement of its own falls in line with its history of championing youth sports.
Beginning next spring, Noblesville, in partnership with Klipsch-Card Athletic Facilities, LLC, will build a 130,000-square-foot youth sports facility – The Noblesville Fieldhouse.
The $15 million project will sit on the in-development Finch Creek Park on the east side of Noblesville and will include five hardwood courts, approximately 75,000 square feet of indoor turf and a 10,000-square-foot sports medicine and physical therapy office from St.Vincent Sports Performance, which will serve as the provider of all athletic trainers and health care at the Fieldhouse.
The facility also will include indoor and outdoor concession areas and a second-floor mezzanine balcony, which will overlook playing areas.
The public-private partnership between the City of Noblesville and Klipsch-Card Facilities, LLC, has been in discussions since spring of this year.
Klipsch-Card is made up of Mike Klipsch and Andy Card, co-presidents of the company. Their role in the Fieldhouse will include owning and operating it, including marketing and scheduling.
“When Mike and I started out with our company several years ago, we actually started this venture on a cocktail napkin in a Mexican restaurant here in Hamilton County, and Mike and I, both being residents of Hamilton County and raising our families here, we recognized the need for these types of facilities. There will be nothing else like it.”
“Our residents on the east side of State Road 37 deserve a community place with amenities closer to home,” Ditslear said. “For the Fieldhouse to be successful, obviously we as a city could not do that alone. We needed to find a private organization that had an expertise in youth sports. (This) will make Noblesville more competitive in youth sports.”
To help fund the project, the City of Noblesville will contribute $600,000 per year of new revenue from the facility’s property taxes and rental fees of the city’s Fieldhouse time, offset by the sale of 10 acres of land for $1 million. In addition, Noblesville would contribute a maximum of $200,000 of new dollars each year – a figure that Ditslear said will be driven lower as the facility generates more of its own property taxes to fund itself. City officials have pledged that funding will not come from the general fund.
NOBLESVILLE PARKS & REC
Noblesville Parks Director Brandon Bennett said he is “thrilled” about the partnership that will allow for sports like baseball, softball, football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, futsol, pickleball and more to be played at the Fieldhouse.
Also in collaboration with the parks department’s programming will be a farm-to-table initiative, where foods grown in the park will be used in the Fieldhouse’s concession stands.
“We’re excited for the direction Finch Creek Park is headed,” Bennett said. “The Noblesville Fieldhouse will give our residents and guests many opportunities, provide the private-public partnership to jumpstart the park, as well as become an economic catalyst for the east side of (Ind.) 37.
“This project aligns perfectly with the vision of the park. Since the 203-acre property at the corner of Boden Road and 166th Street was acquired in 2008, we have always had a vision of some sort of a private partnership with an entity to provide amenities that the city would not otherwise build or operate.”
Bennett said the first phase of Finch Creek Park will focus on the southeastern portion of the property, southwest of the proposed Fieldhouse, in order to provide amenities to surrounding neighborhoods.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB
In a separate agreement that begins in January, the Fieldhouse also will begin working with the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville, through an arrangement that allows it the ability to rent court space on the weekends.
“Through this partnership with the Noblesville Fieldhouse and Finch Creek Park, we will be able to better accomplish our mission and strengthen our financial base. We are also excited about the future opportunities we will have to engage more families and more kids on the east side of Noblesville,” said Becky Terry, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville. “We will continue to provide our youth programs, our teen programs and our support programs that are a fundamental part of who we are and what we do. Nothing we do is going to change, and we’re still going to focus on our mission and our kids.”
Announced Dec. 2, the city’s original plans to present resolutions for the project to the Noblesville Common Council Dec. 6 were pushed to the council’s Dec. 20 meeting to ensure all nine council members would be present. City officials said the postponement also allows the city and Klipsch-Card to sort out the final details of their agreement.
The two separate resolutions will encompass the Noblesville Fieldhouse and official plans for Finch Creek Park.
City officials said the council is expected to vote on both resolutions at the same meeting, which, if approved, will allow the city to move forward with Klipsch-Card to begin the first phase of the park.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 in the Noblesville City Hall Council Chambers, 16 S. 10th St.
The first phase is anticipated to break ground in late spring or early summer of 2017 and should be completed in the summer or fall of 2018. The Fieldhouse is set to open in spring 2018.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 130K – Square footage of facility
- 10 – Acres of facility space
- 203 – Acres of Finch Creek Park
- 5 – Hardwood, indoor courts
- 75K – Square feet of indoor turf
- 10K – Square feet of sports medicine/physical therapy offices
- 350 – Projected new part-time jobs
- 40 – Projected new full-time jobs