State's largest indoor sports complex set to open in Lake Barrington

 
 
  • The Lake Barrington Fieldhouse is nearly complete with its indoor baseball-football combination field and various basketball courts.

    The Lake Barrington Fieldhouse is nearly complete with its indoor baseball-football combination field and various basketball courts. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Artificial turf covers the main playing surface at the soon-to-open Lake Barrington Fieldhouse. Its director of operations, Ben Curcio, inspects the covering.

    Artificial turf covers the main playing surface at the soon-to-open Lake Barrington Fieldhouse. Its director of operations, Ben Curcio, inspects the covering. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • A Barrington soccer logo takes center stage at the Lake Barrington Fieldhouse sports complex.

    A Barrington soccer logo takes center stage at the Lake Barrington Fieldhouse sports complex. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • The Lake Barrington Fieldhouse will feature 40,000 square feet of maple hardwood playing surface for basketball and volleyball.

    The Lake Barrington Fieldhouse will feature 40,000 square feet of maple hardwood playing surface for basketball and volleyball. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • The Lake Barrington Fieldhouse, scheduled to open next month, is touted as the largest indoor multisport complex in Illinois.

    The Lake Barrington Fieldhouse, scheduled to open next month, is touted as the largest indoor multisport complex in Illinois. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Installation continues on the floors for basketball and volleyball play at the new Lake Barrington Fieldhouse.

    Installation continues on the floors for basketball and volleyball play at the new Lake Barrington Fieldhouse. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Published: 10/27/2008 12:04 AM

Whether their game is basketball, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse or a host of other sports, club teams and leagues throughout the Barrington area and beyond will soon have a new home court on which to hone their skills.

Touted as the largest indoor multisport complex in Illinois, the 175,000-square-foot Lake Barrington Fieldhouse is said to be on schedule to open next month.

Numerous youth and adult leagues throughout the Chicago area, and from as far away as Aurora, have already signed on to make the field house their new home base, and the facility also touts plans for a wide range of programming for adults, rehabilitation services and professional-level training.

"It really lends itself to multisport capabilities," said Ben Curcio, director of operations at the facility.

Tom Laue of Barrington, who's spearheaded the complex's development, said parents will like being able to take all their kids to one location, no matter what sport they're playing.

"That should make the lives of the kids and parents a lot easier," he said.

The field house features a single, 95,000-square-foot artificial turf playing surface that will house a full-size soccer field, two baseball-softball diamonds and a full-size field for football and lacrosse.

There also is 40,000 square feet of maple hardwood surface for four basketball courts or eight volleyball courts.

The training services will be run by David Buchanan, who's worked with more than 2,000 athletes in his career, including former Chicago Bears Jim McMahon and Bryan Cox, as well as current NFL players Justin McCariens and Ryan Diem.

Buchanan said the facility will offer one-on-one training, as well as a number of group classes focusing on things like vertical jumping, explosive takeoffs, aquatic speed and core strengthening.

"Our goal is to help anyone reach their desired level of performance," he said.

There will be a walking track for seniors, as well as numerous adult programs, including Pilates and golf and tennis strengthening classes.

Besides the athletic amenities, there will also be 10 meeting and party rooms, spectator seating and a cafe.

"We tried to think of everything to make this facility first-class," Buchanan said.

Laue said he first saw the need for such a facility when he was president of Barrington Youth Baseball in 2001. He said various youth leagues constantly had to jockey for time on the limited number of outdoor playing fields, which were difficult to maintain and constantly being torn up.

After a couple other failed attempts to find land and pull together the financing, Laue's group, the United Sports Organizations of Barrington Inc., settled on property off Pepper Road in the Northpointe Development.

Because the venture has qualified as nonprofit, Laue said that once the building has been paid off in 17 to 20 years, any further proceeds will be used to support the organization's mission of opening additional sports facilities in the area.

Still to be determined is whether the building will qualify to be tax-exempt. Laue said earlier this month he was still negotiating with state officials over that issue but that his operating budget is prepared to cover the cost of taxes if necessary.

And the organization has already agreed to pay a fee to Lake Barrington police and the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District for their services.

Whether or not the village of Lake Barrington ever sees any tax revenue from the complex, it's a welcome addition to the area, Village Administrator Christopher Martin said.

The field house is a good complement to the Professional Baseball Instruction facility, set to open at Northpointe in coming months, and Martin hopes the thousands of visitors the field house will bring into the area will lead to new retailers and restaurants.

In fact, officials say they expect the complex to attract at least 10,000 athletes monthly.

"There isn't a limitation on who can use the facility," Laue said. "It is open to anyone of all ages."

A grand opening is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 9.