The heart of the game

MEGAN BADGER / WIRE PHOTO
The Newtown Athletic Complex recently held a grand opening for its new 41,000-square-foot Sports Training Facility. The complex will provide indoor space for use by area sports teams.

By Megan Badger

Wire Managing Editor

For a place that was opening in just a few days, there was still a lot of work to be done.

If you had walked into the Newtown Athletic Complex’s Sports Training Facility last week, you would have seen construction workers, painters and building inspectors hard at work to prepare for the building’s grand opening, which took place on Saturday.

The 41,000-square-foot building was erected in a matter of months, so putting the final touches together in three days was right on pace.

The new Sports Training Facility is located next to the private fitness club and offers a massive indoor space available for use by area sports teams. The old sports facility, which was located adjacent to the new structure before being demolished in September, was mostly used for softball and baseball training.

“It’s so much more than just baseball, and that’s what we wanted,” explained Josh Tyler, director of operations at the Sports Training Facility. “The main purpose of it was to take the existing business — which is Big Leagues Academy — and bring it in here. The academy offers instruction in baseball and softball, from private instruction to camps and some teams come in to rent space.”

The new facility has the capacity to cater to all types of teams, not just baseball and softball, and features a 9,000-square-foot area designed for gymnastics and cheerleading.

“I always knew what I wanted the vision to be. I wanted to incorporate all the sports,” Tyler said. “So when we designed this I wanted complete flexibility. All the netting can all be retracted so we can have one big open space and all of the turf can be rolled up. I wanted to have a building that was completely flexible but was done nicely.

“Sports training facilities are usually in warehouses that are dark, dirty and dim. We wanted it bright, clean, new and with a lot of space,” he added.

Local lacrosse, soccer and football teams have already decided to rent the space, including the Council Rock United Soccer Association (CRUSA). During the summer months when sports teams are less likely to utilize the facility, the NAC will use it for summer camps and special events.

The NAC is currently working on another construction project to install an outdoor pool adjacent to the complex, which Tyler says will completed by May.

“This is phase two of a three-phase project at the NAC called the big build,” Tyler explained. “The first one was a 12,000-square-foot addition onto the fitness center, which was desperately needed. That was phase one, phase two is getting this done.

“Phase three is the pool, which actually comes along with your membership,” he continued. “It’s got an adult pool, a lazy river, waterslides, a splash pad, and a liquor license and a bar so they can do weddings and banquets and events there.”

The NAC has also acquired the property across the street from its current location and has plans to create an outdoor field area in the future.

“The owner of the club, Jim [Worthington], says it’s always been his goal to have a club that’s one of the top five in the country,” Tyler said, “and it will be there.”

The Newtown Athletic Club Sports Training Facility is at 209 Penns Trail in Newtown. For more information, visit www.newtownathletic.com or call 215–968–0600.