Arena Club proposes to build training center behind Wawa on Route 22

Owners of the Arena Club near Harford Community College plan to build a 24,000-square-foot fieldhouse next to their facility on the busy Route 22.

Club representatives say traffic impacts would be minimal from the new building, despite the highway's daily congestion, because most of the use of the new building will be on weekends.

Only a couple people came to a community input meeting on the project Tuesday night, and none of them expressed any concerns about the building.

The indoor training center would sit on the grassy plot behind Wawa and be used mostly for baseball practice, Arena Club owner Keith Rawlings said.

"Having that field next door will really complement some things we are doing [with training]," Rawlings said. "Our sports training is really high-level."

The fieldhouse would have eight tunnels for baseball practice, so "at any time, there's 15 kids in there," he said.

The new building would have a turf field about the same size as the club's current indoor turf field, he said, and it could potentially be used for other activities as well.

The building, which is expected to cost about $1.5 million, would also add 69 more parking spaces on the Arena Club campus.

Rawlings said the baseball program's busiest day is Saturday, not during the week. He said he has had no complaints about the plan and showed a letter from neighbors supporting the facility.

Mitch Ensor, with Bay State Land Services, the project's site engineer, said a traffic study has been completed.

Ensor said he did not know how many trips the new building is expected to generate but said it is far below the threshold where the county would require traffic slow improvements in the area.

"It will be a nice complement for the community," Ensor said of the fieldhouse.

The fieldhouse will be serviced by a septic system that has been reviewed by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

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