The team behind the Wellesley Sports Center, a facility that has been rising on Rte. 9 east since ground was broken about a year ago, hopes the center will be operating by late winter/early spring. The team wanted to have the ice rinks available by year end, but cites National Grid’s work stoppage for derailing that plan. Still, the rinks, pools, fitness center and playing field are coming, and that has 12-year-old Wellesley newcomer Brody Sharpe excited.
Here’s a write-up on the Center by Brody, a Wellesley Middle School 6th grader who reached out to Sports Center officials to answer his questions:
First a little about me. I moved to Wellesley from California about a year ago, and jumped right into the Wellesley hockey scene. I had a great first year practicing and playing with my peewee team, and came to appreciate the many differences between MA hockey and CA hockey (northern CA at least).
You see, if you live in northern California, and hockey is your passion, it isn’t easy to find ice. We played in downtown San Francisco, a short distance but a hard drive for a 6PM practice. When my dad told me that our new town is going to have 2 new sheets of ice, I couldn’t believe how lucky I got.
When we moved to Wellesley my parents would point at an empty lot and say “that’s where the rinks are going to be.” Now when I drive down Route 9 and see the buildings going up, I can’t help but wonder what is going on inside. What are those buildings going to be? When will I be able to play there? Where will we hang that Lake Placid banner we won last year? Will I be able to do any off-ice training there? And most importantly, will I be able to get a hot dog when I go watch the high school teams play?
Well I decided to see what I could find out about the new Wellesley Sports Complex, but from my perspective. I hear parents talking about it, but what does this new building mean to me, a Wellesley kid who will actually be using it? Through our hockey director, Jared Parker, I was able to send some questions to the builders, and I got back some answers that I think you’ll appreciate.
This is the layout of the Wellesley Sports Complex.
This is what the Wellesley Sports Complex will look like from Route 9.
Here’s my Q&A
I hope it answers some of your questions too:
Will the Wellesley logo be at center ice right on the first day of skating? For both sheets of ice?
The final ice logo layout has not been finalized, but all logos will be installed prior to the first skate
My take: That’s great, seeing your town’s logo on the center of the ice creates pride.
How many locker rooms will there be?
6 locker rooms per sheet
My take: That’s more than enough for every team, that’s great. See the blueprint to see where they are located.
What size will the locker rooms be?
Day locker rooms average between 475 – 500SF
My take: That’s humungous! I measured the locker rooms at Babson and they are 220 square feet – we’re more than double the size!
Are there home and away locker rooms and are there special locker rooms for Wellesley teams?
Locker rooms will be assigned to home and away with certain rooms reserved for WHS at their choosing.
Where will all the Wellesley youth hockey championship banners be hung, and will there be a trophy case for Wellesley teams?
On the West Rink end wall
My take: Now everyone can see how great the Wellesley teams are! My teammates and I look forward to adding to the trophy case many times.
Will the girl’s and boy’s high school teams have enough seats for everybody? Is there more or less seating than at Babson?
The West Rink is sized for roughly 700 spectators plus standing room rinkside
Is there 1 or 2 Zambonis? Will they be electric or diesel? Can kids from the high school WHS with their license drive the Zambonis?
2 Electric Zambonis, and yes, workers at HS age can drive
My take: When I’m at WHS I am going to drive the Zamboni myself.
Will Wellesley hockey teams be able to work out in the fitness center?
The expectation is that the WHS / WYH will utilize the fitness center.
My take: Another advantage our Wellesley teams will have over other teams.
Will the pool be public?
Pool will be privately run with public times for lesson, open and recreational swim
My take: Perfect day would be both hockey and swimming.
Will the lax, soccer, baseball and other Wellesley sports be able to use the turf field?
Turf is predominately Wellesley soccer, lacrosse and eld hockey to date
My take: Now I can play lacrosse on the field too.
Will I be able to get a hot dog, popcorn, and other food after my games?
Yes, our concessions partner will offer typical ‘rink’ food, plus more healthy alternatives
My take: I will be able to sit down on the stands with my hotdog and Gatorade to watch the high school teams play hockey.
Will every single Wellesley hockey team play there?
That is the expectation, but we do not schedule the WYH games or practices
My take: I hope WYH is busy scheduling our practices and games.
Will there be public skating and birthday parties?
Yes, we will have teen skates, family skates, and birthday party opportunities
My take: Now I can take my friends and we can all skate together on the ice.
Can I get my skates sharpened, a stick, and other equipment at the new sports complex?
Absolutely, our pro-shop will have sharpening and equipment sales
My take: That is awesome, now all I need to do is talk my parents into buying me a new stick at the rink!
In conclusion, the rinks, turf field, and pool sound great. I will use the turf field for lacrosse mostly, maybe some football practices, and I will use the rinks for, of course, hockey! Finally, I will use the swimming pool for recreational swimming. Now when I drive by, I know what is going on in there, but I’m still waiting for these builders to hurry up and finish. I hope you are as happy as I am with the opening of the rinks, pool, and turf field coming soon.