May 22, 2010 in Washington Voices

HUB building owner plans to put it on the market

Organization had option to purchase with multiple extensions
By The Spokesman-Review
 

The board of directors of the HUB Sports Center has recommended to the building’s owner to put it up for sale, effective immediately.

Executive director Phil Champlin said that when the building was opened in 2007, the HUB had the option to buy the building within a year. The HUB has received multiple extensions over the last three years and now, the option has expired.

“It’s at the point where we can’t continue to extend it,” Champlin said.

The organization has been covering its operating expenses with its revenue and hasn’t been able to put any funds into reserves over the years. He added that some of the board members have put up their own money to help make ends meet.

The building first opened in 2003 and was operated as Sport USA. That organization closed the building in 2005, and it sat vacant until 2007.

The HUB has 66,500 square feet and includes five regulation basketball courts that can be used for volleyball, badminton, futsal, pickleball, wrestling, judo and more. The volleyball nets hang from the ceiling and can be raised and lowered easily.

“You can convert from basketball to volleyball in about 15 minutes,” Champlin said.

There are portable bleachers that can seat from 500 to 600 people during basketball games or around 200 people for volleyball games.

There are scoreboards in every court and large curtains to separate them. In one court, there is a batting cage.

Upstairs there are three studios for aerobics and other classes. Champlin said the HUB has recently offered Zumba, body boot camp and boxing conditioning classes.

Over the last several months, Freeman High School has been using the building while its new gymnasium is under construction. Champlin said that numerous groups rent the facility during the course of the year, including club volleyball, AAU basketball and many others. He added that it is 75 to 80 percent booked for the winter months coming up.

He said that he is letting each group know what is going on when they call and is taking things on a month-to-month basis in case the building sells.

Champlin also said he worries that groups won’t have a place for children to play if the facility closes. He said school gymnasiums are going to be impacted by the sale and youth teams will have to hold practices very early in the mornings or late at night.

“National and regional tournaments would go to other cities and communities which would result in a loss of over $1 million of revenue from outside visitors to the Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake communities,” he said.


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