Edge Sports Group, which aims to build and operate a recreational facility at 900 Worcester St., in Wellesley, has delivered a couple of pleasant surprises in its response to the Board of Selectmen’s conditional approval of the original plan.
Edge, which earlier referred to itself as Marathon Sports Group, is now talking about having a pool with 13 lanes and at least one 1-meter diving board, whereas an earlier rendition would have had 8 lanes. This main pool would be complemented by a smaller warm water pool for teaching/fitness/leisure.
900 Worcester St. Committee Chair Andy Wrobel says this pool setup is very close to what the town’s aquatic study group had in mind from the get-go. He’s also bullish on Charles River Aquatics, an experienced outfit that Edge is partnering with to run the swimming operations.
“We liked the original proposal, but this is even better,” Wrobel says. “They have a great partner to run the pool, well respected both for swim lessons and working with swimming teams and associations.”
The main pool might very well lend itself to high school swim and dive practices and meets, though it will be up to Wellesley High to determine whether it can get as good of a deal there as it does at Babson College. Edge is looking to give Wellesley High teams prime after-school hours.
What’s more, in response to community requests for some sort of track at the facility, Edge is committing to an elevated track around the turf field planned at the site. We’re talking about a track designed mainly for seniors to walk on and for parents to mill about on while kids are at sports activities in the building, not really a dedicated running oval.
The Wellesley Sports Center also will have two full sheets of ice with 750+ seating capacity, with Wellesley Youth Hockey, Dana Hall and Wellesley Public School hockey programs envisioned as anchor tenants. Adult leagues, skating lessons and more will fill out ice time, under the plan.
The facility will have fitness space, but think of this more in terms of personal and team-oriented athletic training, not something like Planet Fitness.
Memberships will be offered for individual access to swimming/skating/field/track.
You’ll soon be able to take a look at the Edge Sports Group document, which gives a feel for possible membership pricing, on the 900 Worcester St. Committee page on the town website.
The 900 Worcester St. Committee meets next week to discuss Edge’s latest plan and determine its recommendation for the Board of Selectmen. The Committee will meet with the BoS on Sept. 19 to discuss. If the BoS likes what it sees, then it would be time for lease negotiations, figuring out how to handle the Rte. 9 traffic situation (Edge says it will kick in $250K) and making some zoning changes at the property. If all that went well, the proposal could head to Town Meeting in Spring of 2017, with the possibility of a new recreation facility opening in 2018.
There are still plenty of things to work out, including how Edge will fund the project (an earlier proposal would have relied on significant funding from the YMCA). One promising sign is that Edge has already been in communications with the property management company for 888 Worcester St., to work out possible overflow parking arrangements.