by Dan Holland
Attached to the new Brecksville-Broadview Heights Elementary School, which opened for classes on Sept. 6, is the brand-new Blossom Hill Fieldhouse located at 3500 Oakes Rd. Guided tours of the school and fieldhouse were made available to the public in August.
The 29,300 square-foot facility, which already has been utilized for elementary school physical education classes and a high school volleyball scrimmage on Aug. 17, will be available for Brecksville Recreation Department youth and adult sports programs and activities, traveling sports teams and others functions.
“It brings an opportunity for our organized sports, our youth sports and travel sports to have their own facility to utilize for their activities,” said Brecksville Director of Recreation Rachele Engle. “It’s all in one place now. It’s going to be very exciting when our sports programs can be in here, and it’s nice to be one big collective community when it comes to our athletics. It’s going to be a great resource for our teams, with the additional court availability.”
The facility features four full-sized basketball courts surrounded by a two-lane walking/jogging track, all topped with Pulastic athletic flooring. Dividers can be electronically lowered from the ceiling to isolate individual courts, with all courts striped for volleyball and basketball. Designated courts are also striped for tennis and pickleball. Four electronic scoreboards are mounted on the south wall; one for each full-sized basketball court.
The 16 telescoping basketball goal systems can be adjusted between 7 and 10 feet in height. The volleyball netting system can also be lowered for tennis matches. A batting/pitching cage can be lowered from the ceiling and can accommodate a pitcher’s mound and pitching machine. The feature can be rented by individual sports teams.
“I love that it’s a multi-sport facility,” said Engle. “We can host volleyball, basketball, tennis and pickleball and have our youth and adult sports in here. It’s a really well-thought-out facility with all the different aspects of the hoops, and then having the ability to switch things out and have rentals in here as well.”
Portable, rolling aluminum bleachers can be situated between courts one and two, which provide for extra spectator space. Both the lighting and sound systems can be tailored to an individual court or for the entire facility all at once, said Engle.
Other features of the facility include a front desk area, athletic offices, a conference room, common area with kitchenette, a lockers and seating area, concessions stand equipped with stainless-steel kitchen appliances, storage rooms, and restrooms with handicap-accessible shower facilities.
“The elementary school kids are using this facility every day for PE classes, and then they can continue to use it for recreation or travel sports teams in Brecksville,” said Engle. “In hearing feedback, they’re really liking and enjoying it.”
“I don’t know who’s more excited to come in here; our youth sports or our adult sports groups to be in here and access the pickleball, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts,” she added. “Parents have busy lives, so if they’re able to come in for open volleyball for two hours, that’s important for them to be able to work that into their schedules.”
Engle stressed the mutually cooperative relationship between the city, which owns and operates the fieldhouse, and the local school district.
“I believe our PE teachers are enjoying using this facility with the larger space and figuring out how to best use it.” she said. “The PE teachers are great, and we have a wonderful relationship with the school. The principal here, Colleen Toth, has been great with communication planning and working on new things together, and our superintendent, Joelle Magyar, has been awesome through the whole process. We just want everyone know that this is a welcoming facility for all groups.” ∞