New turf fields opened at Pennbriar Athletic Club
ERIE, P.A (WICU-WSEE/CW) – The sound of soccer balls gliding across the brand new turf echoed through the inside of the dome at the Erie Premier Sports Pennbriar site in Summit Twp.
On Thursday night, boys and girls from the Fort Lebeouf Soccer Club were holding practices in their respective age groups from grades second through eighth.
These sights and sounds were all brand new to a facility which used to house eight tennis courts for 44 years as part of the adjacent Pennbriar Athletic Club.
The club ceased tennis operations earlier this year.
The new facility, which opened this week, boasts a pair of 200’-by-100’ multi-sport turf fields. When we were there Thursday, a portion of one of the fields was separated by a large net, as it is still under construction, with the original hard court floor still visible
The two-month, $250,000 renovation project was handled by Erie Premier Sports and its president, Pedro Argaez. Argaez says he and his staff spent roughly six weeks doing cosmetic work on the interior. And the final weeks were spent laying down the turf.
He says the crew had a goal to finish the project before winter.
“We're very lucky to have them [the staff], because it's a lot of work." Argaez said
The Pennbriar location joins the EPS’s two other locations at 4504 West Ridge Road and 3515 McClelland Avenue. All three are staffed by at least 30 different instructors.
The teams from Fort Lebeouf chose the Pennbriar location because it was closer for them. According to Coach Lisa Miller, the group of roughly 180 kids would often have to travel to the other two locations.
"I just can't wait to see how this winter goes." Miller said
Both Miller and Argaez say the new facility will give other teams a closer and affordable way to keep playing the game during the winter. The space already has several tournaments booked, and plans to take in more leagues and teams from different sports.
"I think it's going to open a lot of avenues for the soccer programs through the areas." Miller said
"And they're gonna be great." Argaez said
The unfinished portion of the field should be done by the end of the next week. Argaez told Erie News Now, they are considering the addition of an outdoor field.
For information on tournaments, click here. And for information on pricing for your teams, you can call the EPS main office at 814 833-0950.