MIDDLETOWN, NJ — The Middletown Township Committee and Board of Education last week announced that they have retained Pinnacle Indoor Sports (Pinnacle) to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of re-purposing the Port Monmouth School property to create an indoor sports and recreation center for the community. Pinnacle, based in Louisville Kentucky, has conducted similar studies in 41 states and has a team with more than 60 years of combined experience in the field.
“In 2019, Port Monmouth School was closed and has been vacant for the last two years,” said Middletown Township Board of Education President Frank Capone. “We are proud to be partnering with the Township to work toward creating a much-needed indoor sports and recreation complex for the residents of Middletown, rather than selling the property to the highest bidder where it may end up being over-developed.”
Port Monmouth School opened in 1928 and is located on approximately three acres of property on State Highway 36. It is a 25,750 square foot building with two full stories and a partial basement. “Ideally we would like to be able to maintain some aspect of Port Monmouth School history in this project,” said Mayor Tony Perry. “Our intention is to obtain input from our residents, local sports organizations, leagues, and clubs to ensure we utilize this property to best meet the community’s needs.”
Pinnacle was selected to do the study via an RFP process because of its expertise in researching recreational sports and evaluating the market. The company recently completed several large indoor sports centers in the Northeast: Schafer Sports Center, a 38,000 square foot facility located in Ewing Township, NJ, XL Sports, a 78,000 square foot sports center in Hatfield, PA, and House of Sports, a 120,000 square foot indoor sports complex — the largest complex in the New York metropolitan area that was repurposed from an existing manufacturing firm.
For this project, the feasibility and market analysis will include in person, telephone and/or virtual interviews with multiple stakeholders beginning this month. Pinnacle will also provide a detailed report about the growth and popularity of various sports, both nationally and within Middletown, as well as unmet sports-related needs and demands in the community. For example, an online gaming component is going to be considered as it continues to integrate into popular culture.
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Pinnacle will also investigate ancillary use opportunities that could include non-traditional sports-related activities such as summer camps, partnerships with other area recreational organizations, and individual youth programming to help determine how the facility would be developed and operated. “The goal is to develop a facility that can be self-sustaining financially,” said Mayor Perry.
Following the completion of the stakeholder interview phase and research, Pinnacle will submit an executive summary report to the Township and Board of Education. The report will also include a financial model and an economic impact analysis. If determined to be financially feasible, the project would then move into the design consultation phase.