At the site of the former Greenwood Middle School fieldhouse, a new community recreation facility opens in less than two weeks.
The Greenwood Fieldhouse, is a $9 million redevelopment project the city undertook to give the remaining building at the middle school property new life. Other buildings at the site were demolished in 2019.
The 65,000-square-foot facility offers an elevated indoor running and walking track, batting cages, two multi-purpose turf fields for sports such as soccer or lacrosse, two gymnasiums with basketball or volleyball courts, three indoor pickleball courts and a golf simulator.
The city bought the former middle school property for $1.1 million in 2017, as part of the plan to spend money generated from the city’s central Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. The district was created in 2013 and is intended to fund redevelopment in Old Town Greenwood.
The fieldhouse is just one part of that effort. Over the years, each project in the area — from the Madison Avenue streetscape redesign to the $5 million makeover at Old City Park — has been part of the plan, officials say.
When residents walk into the fieldhouse, they will be greeted with relics of the building’s past — a common theme throughout the building. Parts of the old building have been repurposed and memorabilia from the school were saved to display at the fieldhouse.
In the lobby, residents will see some of the original brick walls of the fieldhouse, renovated to look brand-new. Trophy cases filled with old accolades line the halls. Alumni will recognize a section of the original wood floor in the south gym, along with a set of original bleachers from the old school. Storage and locker rooms throughout the building were remodeled and converted into offices.
The middle’s school former wrestling room was remodeled into a gym. The old band room houses the golf simulator, along with one of the original seats from the band room, which is now hidden behind a curtain a storage area.
Every space throughout the fieldhouse can be used for a variety of activities. That flexibility was one of the most important things for the new facility, said Rob Taggert, the city’s parks director.
“The intent was to provide a year-round amenity for our residents,” Taggert said. “To address those needs, it has to be as flexible as possible.”
One of the highlights of the facility is the golf simulator which provides residents with a year-round opportunity to play golf. The simulator, designed by AboutGolf, is one of Mayor Mark Myers’ favorite parts of the fieldhouse, he said.
The simulator is in the middle school’s old band room. Members must reserve a slot to use the golf simulator and the first tee times are available in June, officials say.
Another highlight is the alternative turf field on the building’s second floor. The field is designed so it can be used to play many different types of sports, including baseball, soccer and more, Taggert said.
The second floor also features a tenth of a mile walking track, which loops around the second floor. There is space along the sides of the track for several different types of exercise equipment, including a stretching cage. This is different the cardio and weight equipment that members use at the Greenwood Community Center, he said.
“We didn’t want to be redundant with having the same equipment the community center does,” Taggert said. “The fieldhouse is an extension of the community center.”
People may notice there is empty spaces where more equipment could go, and that is by design, Taggert said.
“We want people to let us know if we should add something,” he said.
The fieldhouse also serves an additional purpose as an anchor for the $83 million redevelopment of the rest of the former middle school property, dubbed The Madison, officials say.
Seven additional buildings will be built as part of the redevelopment, a public-private partnership. Construction is underway for more than 330-market-rate apartments, more than 40 condos and more than 18 townhomes, as well as 18,000 square feet of office and retail space on the first floors of the buildings. A 36,000-square-foot, three-story parking garage with more than 300 parking spots will also be built, as well as additional surface parking.
City officials hope the fieldhouse will entice traveling sports teams to stop in Greenwood to use the city’s park facilities. The fieldhouse will also have spaces for soccer, baseball and lacrosse leagues to play, Taggert said.
“These are things we never really had space for,” he said.
Both Taggert and Myers are breathing a sigh of relief that the space is ready to launch — a positive one, they both emphasized.
“People are excited; they’ve been waiting for this,” Myers said. “It’s nostalgic for me because I went to school here.”
Taggert is thankful for Myers and his staff for allowing the parks department to have creative freedom when it came to designing the facility. Having the leadership in place to allow their plans to flourish was an asset. Everything in the facility will be great for the city’s residents, he said.
Myers considers the fieldhouse as another tool for the economic development of Greenwood. When people see the fieldhouse, they’ll want to come to the city, and this includes both future residents and businesses, Myers said.
“When they see it, they may want to live here,” Myers said. “We have a 0% vacancy rate because people want to be here.”
The city will offer memberships for the fieldhouse, along with day passes and punch passes. Annual individual memberships range from $75-$200, with discounted rates available.
More information on pricing, along with how to sign-up for memberships, can be found at greenwood.in.gov/fieldhouse.
IF YOU GO
Greenwood Fieldhouse Grand Opening
What: A ribbon cutting followed by a tour of the facility. Parks department representatives will be available for questions and to provide information about memberships. Greenwood High School athletes will also be around the facility, trying out amenities.
When: 11 a.m. May 6
Where: Greenwood Fieldhouse, 411 S. Madison Avenue, Greenwood
Source: City of Greenwood