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Sturbridge investors propose sports complex

Tentative plans for the Arena’s athletic complex include a regulation size soccer field that can be converted into multiple smaller fields outside, and another field under a dome as well as an 18-hole disc golf course. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
June 30, 2010
STURBRIDGE — A group of Sturbridge dads with athletic-minded kids calling themselves The Arena, have shown an interest in an expansive sports complex on Route 15.

Though no formal proposal has been made, representatives of that group met with the Planning Board on Tuesday, June 29 to discuss tentative plans for what they call an athletic destination.

Michael F. Loin of Bertin Engineering Associates, and Arnold Lundwall, one of the investing dads who would likely assume general manager responsibilities of the facility, showed the board a map of their 25-acre idea.

If the project is formally proposed to the town, it would require a special permit to be built on 25 acres instead of the 50 required by the area's current zoning and would require a variance to allow a structure taller than 60 feet to be built.

Loin explained the complex would feature both indoor and outdoor facilities suitable to a number of different sports.

The complex, which would be accessed via Kelly Road rather than having entrance and exit right on Route 15, would feature a regulation size soccer field that can be split in half, making two youth-size fields.

Town Planner Jean Bubon said accessing the site through Kelly Road would prevent clear-cutting of the trees along Route 15, though some kind of traffic regulations would have to be imposed so people attending games would not interfere with the residents of the Sturbridge retirement community.

Under an 80-foot high dome would be a third soccer field. All of the fields will be able to accommodate a number of different sports requiring similar-sized fields like football, lacrosse and field hockey.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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