Just six months ago, The Edge Sports Center of Bedford was an idea, well, two ideas, really. Now, the brainchild of Brian DeVellis and Scott Fusco, the gaudy steel skeleton across from Raytheon on Hartwell Road more closely resembles an athletic complex with each passing day.
DeVellis a Bedford resident, and developer by trade, identified the town’s need for more field space, specifically indoors. Fusco, a Winchester resident, runs a girls hockey program of selects ages 7 to 19 called the East Coast Wizards, and was looking to secure a rink where his program could play.
The pair joined forces to develop the completely privately funded Edge Sports Center of Bedford, after they were introduced by mutual friends.
They broke ground the third week in April, and thus far, “everything’s gone pretty well,” said Fusco.
Once complete, The Edge Sports Center’s facility will include a pro shop and concession area that will stand between the 200 feet x 85 feet regulation hockey rink and the indoor sports facility, with a total turf area of 225 feet by 95 feet and 10,000-square-foot athletes’ training center. The rink will have seating for about 300, the turf will have standing room only. Parking and entrances will be located at both the front and rear of the facility
If the current construction schedule sticks, the rink will be open by Oct. 1, for the start of hockey season, and the turf will follow suit a few weeks later.
DeVellis and Fusco plan on being completely up and running by Nov. 1.
They anticipate the rink will be used for “select” boys and girls hockey (Boston Junior Eagles and East Coast Wizards), local (Bedford-Lexington) youth hockey, two high school hockey programs (Bedford and Lexington) and drop-in hockey, as well as the learn-to-skate program, synchronized skating, figure skating and public skating hours.
Using the sports center as their home ice will benefit Bedford High School because not only will they save money by not bussing the players to and from the rink in West Concord, but the team will be able to practice after school instead of at 5 a.m. Also, there will be a separate locker room reserved for Bedford High School during the hockey season, so they won’t have to lug their equipment with them to and from the rink.
Fusco said The Edge Sports Center could result in a “big quality of life improvement” for the families of hockey players. There is a huge, untapped demand for ice time in the area, said Fusco. “We look at our market as a ½ hour radius.”
The turf section of the complex will have one big piece of turf and netting can divide the turf into two fields arranged perpendicularly – the larger measuring 160 feet x 95 feet and the smaller being 125 feet x 75 feet – or into three fields.
He anticipates the turf will be used by youth and adult indoor soccer and lacrosse for practices and training. Baseball and football could eventually be played on the turf, which will be made available to high school sports teams as needed. Programs for younger kids, likely run by the Recreation Department, will be offered as well, said Fusco.
“The space is big enough you can pretty much do anything,” he said.
Amy Hamilton, director of Bedford Recreation, said the Recreation Department has had several meetings with developers to determine how it makes the most sense to work together – as far as who runs what and so forth.
“We’ve been talking about various programs specifically, and how it would be best to manage the programs,” she said. “We’ve just been, you know, working together, feeling our way with them to determine what’s best for the community.
“They’re easy to work with, and they absolutely want to work with the community,” said Hamilton. “It’s an exciting time for everybody.”
Some details still need ironing out, and The Edge Sports Center is looking for potential employees to work in maintenance, marketing and managing retail, as well as zamboni drivers.
More information on the facility is available at www.theedgesportscenter.com
By Patrick Ball | Copyright 2007 Bedford Minuteman. Some rights reserved