, Salem, MA


March 19, 2014

Dreaming even bigger

Plans would double size of indoor sports complex

DANVERS — When they built the cavernous Danvers Indoor Sports complex in 2011, developers were dreaming big, hoping demand for their four artificial turf fields would make the facility viable.

In less than three years, the soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and basketball teams have come. Now there are plans for the complex to double its size.

It’s not just the need for field space during the winter that is driving demand, but also the need to offer space for educational or training programs for coaches and referees.

Ultimate Frisbee, indoor golf lessons, futsal (a form of soccer) and cheerleading are also sparking expansion plans.

“Right now, the diversity is what is bringing light to the need,” said Kelly Cragg, a partner in the development and manager of Danvers Indoor Sports. Cragg and his father, Don Cragg, ran youth soccer programs at the arena at Topsfeld Fairgrounds until 2009. They have more than 20 years of experience running indoor sports facilities.

Danvers Indoor Sports was built on a 21-acre parcel at 150 Andover St., the site of the former Morton Thiokol chemical plant. The first phase was built in 2011 for $3.4 million at a time when demand for indoor field space was on the rise.

The 88,000 square-foot facility was developed by MRS Management Co. of Topsfield, which has now won approval from the town to nearly double the size of the operation with an approximate 75,000-square-foot addition.

The expansion will cost about $4 million, though the final number could be more than that, “depending on which path we go” when it comes to the fit-out, Cragg said.

A large metal industrial building on the site has been demolished already to make room for the expansion.

The family-owned construction firm Connolly Brothers of Beverly built Danvers Indoor Sports, and they are working on the expansion.

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