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Soccerplex plans scaled back

The Bethlehem Soccer Club is modifying plans for an indoor sports facility at its location on Wemple Road. Initial plans (pictured) called for an 87,500 square foot building. The new building will likely be half that size. (submitted photo)

The Bethlehem Soccer Club is modifying plans for an indoor sports facility at its location on Wemple Road. Initial plans (pictured) called for an 87,500 square foot building. The new building will likely be half that size. (submitted photo)

Sweeney said that the cost to the club’s families is also being taken into consideration.

“We could have a Taj Mahal of an indoor facility, but if it costs too much money for our kids to play, what have we done?” Sweeney asked.

Putting up a structure is not the only challenge for the club. Both Sweeney and Whitman detailed the challenges of infrastructure work that will need to be done in preparation of construction. Additional traffic and a demand for more parking are likely to be key components of any plan the club seeks to have approved by the town. Initial plans would have added more than 80 parking spaces at the Soccerplex.

The modified indoor complex would likely be split into two turf fields. Sweeney explained that the end result would be a safe facility for kids to practice in.

“It will probably not be a metal building,” said Sweeney. “It won’t be a bubble either. It will be a building that will be in between.”

Whitman said the idea for indoor fields has been discussed for about six or seven years.

Drawing other sports teams and organizations to the facility and collecting usage fees still remains one of the main goals.

“We still get all the practice time we want and still have enough free time left over to sell to the other soccer clubs and other sports clubs in town,” said Whitman.

One example would be an opportunity for youth lacrosse practices to be held at the indoor facility. Club officials are preparing once again to embark on a fundraising campaign and believe the work could be completed sometime in 2013.

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