Hagerstown council hears proposals for indoor sports facility, but learns the costs are high

Maryland
It’s clear that Hagerstown could use another indoor sports facility.
 
“There is definitely a need in the community for an indoor sports facility. I think that was clear from the hundreds of people that gave us feedback from when we did our study last summer,” said Rodney Tissue, city engineer.
 
But, the cost is the biggest hurdle. Tissue briefed the council Tuesday of two proposals on the table. Eastern Sports Management has proposed to redevelop the city’s golf course for an indoor sports facility.
 
The estimated cost is $54 million with a swimming pool and $36 million without a pool. The second proposal is from the Hagerstown Ice Amateur Athletic Association. This would be to expand the ice rink, which they estimate will cost between $16 to $18 million.

“The proposals we received really weren’t feasible for the city to take on,” said Tissue.
 
Once the mayor and council heard the figures, they discussed their options and wanted to move in a different direction. They talked about possibly scaling down the project, so it wouldn’t cost as much and reaching out to Washington County and the state for help.

“We definitely need to have a conversation with the county and any other private development that can contribute to something that would be a great benefit to the city,” said Shelley McIntire, a Hagerstown councilwoman.
 
Tissue believes that having a scaled down facility would be the smarter move going forward.

“A $15 million dollar facility, which is basically a shell with the fields, a snack bar and an atrium where you walk in to be greeted. Fairly simple facility, but it gets the need done,” said Tissue.
 
The council plans to meet with HIAAA at an upcoming work session.

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