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A New Facility: Is the Risk Worth the Reward?


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Indy Juniors Volleyball Club (Indianapolis, IN ) went through a major change this off-season, moving across town into the newly constructed Jonathan Byrd's Fieldhouse located in the Grand Park Sports Complex of Westfield, Indiana.

But let's backtrack... why the change?

Indy Juniors was established in 1998 and spent a majority of its years located in Eagle Church of Whitestown, a suburb northwest of Indianapolis. Eagle Church offered a great 6 court practice space, but the club shared the facility with the church and school, so dates to host events were often unavailable. Church camps were run all summer, which meant that Indy Juniors was not able to utilize the gym space during those months. This limited the club's ability to offer off-season camps, clinics, and tournaments.

Needless to say, the club leadership knew they needed a new home, but also knew it would take time to plan and build. During negotiations, planning, and building of the new facility, Indy Juniors teams spent the 2015 season training in a 4 court warehouse space in Carmel, Indiana. Just before the 2016 season the club made the move 15 miles northeast to Jonathan Byrd's Fieldhouse in the Grand Park Sports Complex of Westfield.

The $8 million dollar facility has everything a volleyball club could ask for with 8 hardwood courts each equipped with 3 HD Cameras for online viewing. The facility is gorgeous, but also offers a functionality that cannot be matched. Top of the line technology including 8 Wi-Fi hotspots and USB charging stations throughout , a healthy food Cafeteria on-site for players and their families, 16 women's bathroom stalls with changing rooms for the girls, and a dedicated first-aid room. Now both practice and events can be open to family, friends, and most importantly college coaches from across the country.

Even though the new facility offers our club so many opportunities, moving across town was a big risk. It was extremely hard to give up the roots that we had worked so hard to build. The surrounding community in our previous location had provided us with a majority of our business, so to move into a new area of the city was a huge change.

In order to ensure that the business model was intact heading into the club season:

  • The club's leadership cultivated some great contacts and relationships with people in the Westfield community prior to the move. Those relationships and the buzz about the new building helped drive our player numbers for this season.
  • The club used the move as an opportunity to take a deep look at all aspects of its business. The club reviewed its training methodology, customer service, billing, the types of tournaments we participate in, travel expenses etc.. Everything was examined and analyzed
  • The website was completely revampled to increase the ease of use for the parents and players, and also the functionality for the club administration and coaches.
  • A Director of Volleyball Curriculum position was created to insure consistency in training across all age groups and levels.

A major perk of having the new facility is that it allows Indy Juniors to host events that were not possible in our previous home. For the 2016 season we have partnered with three other JVA member clubs throughout Indiana to form a 'Hoosier Challenge Series' . This series hosted by Indy Juniors VBC (Westfield), Empowered Volleyball (Ft. Wayne), Epic United Volleyball (Hobart), and Prodigy Volleyball (Sellersburg) offers a 12s, 13/14s, 15/16s, and 17/18s division that play once per month. The host sites rotate which divisions they have in their facility each month so that everyone gets to host each age division once for the season.

Along with the ability to host new events during the club season, Indy Juniors now has the opportunity to run camps, skill clinics, coaching clinics, and also host spring college tournaments. The club is particularly excited about the opportunity to bring in some staff from Texas Advantage Volleyball who will be coming to the Hoosier state this summer to train players at Indy Juniors.

The goal is for Indy Juniors to be housed in the best facility in the state of Indiana, and without exaggeration we feel as though we made that happen. We could not be happier about our new endeavor, and look forward to the bright future it will bring. The risk was worth the reward.

About the Author

Jarrett Carrico-Habel is the Associate Club Director for Indy Juniors Volleyball Club, a member of the JVA.

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