By Carley Dangona
AGAWAM After the sale of its property this fall, long-time business Crowley's Sales Barn & Stables, 32 Shoemaker Lane, is in the process of being transformed into an indoor/outdoor sport complex.
Reminder Publications first learned about the sale of the ranch and the transformation into a sports complex in mid-November 2012. At that time Alice Crowley stated that no comments would be made until everything was finalized with the sale of the property.
The following appears on www.crowleyshorses.com: "Crowley's is now selling horses in Florida. After many, many years in the business, Dennis Crowley is retiring the horse auctions. The Crowley's extend their utmost gratitude to all patrons, past and present, for all of your support throughout the years. Thank you for all the wonderful years of allowing us to bring you the best horses."
Don Cameron, proprietor of Cameron Sports Complex LLC hopes to break ground for "The Plex," in March or April of this year. He told Reminder Publications that upon completion, the complex would have two grass 225-foot by 330-foot fields, two synthetic, 225-foot by 360-foot fields, to accommodate sports such as soccer, lacrosse, football, and field hockey. Two inflatable domes will cover the synthetic fields during the winter months to provide year-round accessibility.
A two-story, 15,000-square-foot building will accompany the fields and house a party room, equipment rental section, a small arcade, staff offices and a concession stand. Additional amenities include restrooms and locker rooms. Cameron is currently researching the option of renting one of the offices to provide an on-site chiropractor.
Cameron also noted that Catz Sports Performance Center has agreed to offer training on-site and that the equipment rentals will be run by West Side Sporting Goods of West Springfield.
The Atlantic Soccer Club, of which Cameron is a co-founder, will make "The Plex" its home.
"I hope the success of our facility will enable our team to get first class training," Cameron added.
Renowned soccer coach Tom D'Agostino is the coaching director for the team, which includes soccer players and coaches John Chiavaroli, Giancarlo D'Agostino and Meghan McCarthy on its staff.
"There's a real need in this area for an indoor sports space," Cameron said. "In the winter the two artificial turf fields will be divided widthwise to create six, extremely large soccer fields."
Ideally, Cameron hopes that the local area club teams can utilize the complex as their home fields, practicing indoors and hosting games outdoors. "The Plex" will also be open to the Agawam Parks & Recreation programs, travel and premier sports teams. Ultimately, he would like the complex to become a tournament destination.
"There will be plenty of space for the entire community," Cameron said. "It will take an enormous burden off the town. The [sporting] population is exploding the town fields are overused and can't be managed properly [to accommodate the needs of all those requiring use of the fields]. The facility will provide an opportunity for teams to thrive and excel, for an affordable price."
Cameron was motivated to create his own indoor/outdoor sports complex after visiting many run-down facilities while supporting his family's sports teams.
"I went through all the steps. I looked at more than 100 parcels of land in the past three years. Initially, I had identified Chicopee as a prime location because of its accessibility, but the project was not approved," Cameron stated.
He plans to acquire all necessary building permits by the end of this month and seeks to have the entire site ready for indoor sports this November.
For more information about "The Plex," send an email to email@example.com. For more information about the Atlantic Soccer Club, visit http://atlanticsoccerclub.com.
Recent calls to Crowley's were not returned.
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