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Hoping to build Hope Fieldhouse

Heather and Dan Corley of Farmington look forward to Hope Fieldhouse in Rosemount opening later this year to serve teams in the area, Rosemount Area Athletics Association and youth with physical and cognitive challenges like their son Austin, 15, who loves to play baseball. Kara Hildreth / contributor1 / 2
A capital campaign is now underway to build Hope Fieldhouse in Rosemount to meet growing needs for youth and adaptive athletic teams. Submitted architectural drawing 2 / 2

For years, Rosemount youth sports teams have been challenged to find courts on which to play.

Hope Fieldhouse is the name of a proposed building project that aims to alleviate the lack of court space.

Hope Fieldhouse President Dan Corley and his wife, Heather, are spearheading the project. As a coach at Christian Life Academy in Farmington, Corley plans to work at Hope Fieldhouse when it opens.

The Rosemount High School graduate and Farmington resident and his wife are busy raising five children who enjoy sports. They have played on teams for 10 years in Rosemount. Their son Austin, 15, who is on the autism spectrum, loves playing baseball.

"The challenge we have had is we have gotten to a point where after third or fourth grade, he was not able to keep up with those traveling programs and we struggled to find a place for him to participate and be on a team," Corley said.

The Corleys found the Miracle League Baseball in Lakeville and Austin now plays outdoors in the fall and spring.

"There is a gap because my son is on the spectrum and he is high functioning, but he struggles to compete in sports because it is too fast paced, and there is a huge gap in this area and we want to serve those kids, and we desperately want to because my son is aging out and we know that is the trouble my wife and I have had and we want to see other children and families have a place," Corley said.

Growing support

Hope Fieldhouse has seen growing support from Rosemount Area Athletics Association parents and the community. RAAA represents 21 youth sports with 3,300 youths from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Corley said RAAA experiences a greater need than can be filled with existing court spaces inside Rosemount elementary and middle school gyms. Sometimes, youth teams need to hold practice times late, so there is no debate about need.

"We made the determination that we had to start cutting kids because of the lack of facilities," Corley said. "Our first priority would be to meet the needs of the RAAA, as well as meet the needs of adaptive sports for youth that have physical and cognitive needs — those two groups would be our top priorities."

The architectural drawings show Hope Fieldhouse will be a two-level, 42,000-square-foot facility. It will be built on 10 acres land from Community of Hope Church in Rosemount on the corner of Biscayne Avenue and 145th Street. The recreation center would have no affiliation with the church and would operate as its own independent, nonprofit.

The facility would house four full-sized basketball courts, plus a member accessible fitness center. The courts would be open for basketball, volleyball, wrestling dance, gymnastics and countless types of sports teams and recreational groups.

Corley said the group plans to partner with Dakota United Hawks that offers more than 50 programs for youth with cognitive and physical disabilities in Dakota County.

Hope Fieldhouse hosted a kickoff event in November at Rosemount Community Center, Corley said. Businesses, community leaders and city and church leaders showed up to talk, share ideas and put together solutions and a vision, Corley said.

Working with Rosemount Parks and Recreation, Corley said this new facility could partner with the city to offer space for programs, craft fairs, homeschool classes and activities offered by District 917.

Currently, Hope Fieldhouse operates with a three-member board, a campaign cabinet with eight members and 10 volunteers working to get the project off the ground with the capital campaign, Corley said.

If the capital campaign is a success, plans are to break ground this spring and open in the fall. Now there is a large community fundraiser in the works for February. Information can be found with upcoming dates and locations on the group's Facebook page or Twitter feed or at the website, www.hopefieldhouse.org.

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