By Phil Brozynski
UCLA All-America setter Nellie Spicer played for Sports Performance. So did her Barrington and UCLA teammate Laura Holloway. But you'll find few other Barrington or Northwest suburban volleyball players making the trek to Aurora these days.
So Rick Butler is bringing Sports Performance to them.
Sports Performance is one of several tenants scheduled to occupy the Lake Barrington Field House under construction off Pepper Road just north of Route 14 in Lake Barrington. Other occupants will include Sky High Volleyball, Lacrosse America and the Barrington Area Soccer Association.
The massive 175,000-square foot facility, which is scheduled to welcome tenants beginning November 1, will include a single artificial field turf playing surface that will accommodate a full-size soccer field, two baseball/softball diamonds, a full-size football field or a full-size lacrosse field.
The facility will also feature 40,000-square feet of maple hardwood court surface that can accommodate eight volleyball courts or four basketball courts. The courts have a 30-foot clear height roof.
Occupants will also include Kessel's Training, a leading provider of camps, clinics and private instruction in basketball and volleyball, and ProSport, a unique sports training and rehab facility that is the leading provider of sports enhancement and rehabilitation in Chicagoland.
"What we wanted to do was bring a Division I level training facility to the youth sports market in the Barrington area," said Tom Laue, the developer of the Lake Barrington Field House.
Sports Performance will try to tap into that market and attract more youngsters to the sport of volleyball with its "Sports Elite Volleyball Club" based at the Field House.
"Compared to soccer and basketball, the numbers involved in youth and junior volleyball are pretty small," Butler said. "We want to make volleyball affordable, and we want to make it available to more people."
By providing quality training and quality competition for boys and girls from the youth development level up, Butler hopes to grow the sport in an area that has recently produced some of the most successful high school teams in Illinois.
"It's a good move not only for us, but for the sport of volleyball," he said.