Building has begun on young athletes’ village

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ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Construction is underway in Attleboro on a wide-encompassing sports destination specifically designed for amateurs — mostly youth, but including all ages — known as the New England Sports Village.

Crews were moving snow Tuesday ahead of pouring foundations for the ice arena, the first building to go in. When it’s finished, the Village, a 105-acre athletic campus off Commerce Way, and near Exit 3 on Interstate 95, will accommodate thousands of kids in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in a wide range of sports including lacrosse, football, figure skating, and martial arts.

Besides the ice arena, the complex will include a field house, two outdoor fields, an aquatic center, and a hotel, said developer Joe Fitzpatrick of 5 Capital Management.

The construction started in September, in response to growing paid youth sports programs. The facility will create hundreds of jobs, Fitzpatrick said, from coaches to managers, hotel staff and even restaurant workers.

The $53 million project was tweaked after neighbors expressed concerns about noise and light, Fitzpatrick added: “The outdoor fields, we moved away from the property lines, and we agreed to have only one of the fields lit, so the lights wouldn’t be shining in people’s houses.”

The entire city supports the project, he said; it’s expected to generate a lot of tax revenue. The main part of the campus is scheduled to be complete by September 2017.

The project has been paid for with private investment and bank loans.

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