By Ivan Dashkov
After Fabian (MGA Sports Owner) and his investors picked the perfect location to house the 12 court facility, the process of alternating the former warehouse into a volleyball gym began. Before any new lights were hung or any sport court laid down, walls had to be torn down. The warehouse was originally used to ship beverages and other products. The space that is now home to our lime green, purple, and future sand court used to have a walk in freezer. Initially there was an idea to keep the walk in freezer and turn it into a sand volleyball area. It quickly became apparent that the freezer had to go. Another major change that was made was tearing down a wall that split up the main four courts from the back eight. This wall was supposed to stay up and until very late into the process. However, the building manager offered to take it down and Fabian jumped on the opportunity that created a more open feel to the complex.
Besides those two major changes, a lot of smaller construction had to be done as well. One of the most time consuming was the remodeling of the front office area as well as the far bathrooms. The front office was expanded to include not only a business office but also a room for referees, a pro shop, a large education room, and locker rooms. The education room will be primarily used to review tape and for coaches' education. It was also positively received by the SMASH community as an area where parents and siblings can do work while their daughter or sister is playing. The new bathrooms in the locker room and the construction of the far bathrooms took a long time because they required the installation of new plumbing as well as fixtures. Fabian planned ahead by having the ceilings of both the office area and the far bathrooms reinforced. While there is nothing on top of them yet, it will allow them in the future to have a second floor that can be used for spectator seating, storage, more offices, etc.
Fabian spared no expense when he picked the materials that were used for the courts. He purchased top of the line sport court that features Shocktower technology from Snap Sports. This is the most advanced sport court available on the market. By using this as the flooring he did not only insure the safety of everyone who will play at MGA, he also made a smart business decision. If he purchased an older version of sport court it would have become outdated quickly and would have needed to be replaced quickly. Fabian also purchased lights that would be non-intrusive during play. It is important to have lights picked out early in the construction process. The flooring had to wait until the lighting was installed.
Another addition that was installed is an advanced sound system. The sound system has been a welcomed addition as it makes the facility more fun to practice in and allows for an intercom system that Fabian can broadcast through. The net systems used in the facility are from Gared Sports. Fabian traveled to their offices and looked through various models before deciding on one. He developed a strong relationship with Gared Sports. Fabian had a few alterations he wanted to be done to the net systems he picked and Gared was very accommodating.
By creating such a large and high quality facility, MGA has created a place where Massachusetts and New England volleyball can grow. The added space will allow for NERVA Juniors to grow as it will offer a great location for tournaments and for practices for teams in the region. SMASH Volleyball is already committed to expanding its offerings by offering more teams for girls juniors and adding boys juniors as well. MGA wants to foster this kind of growth throughout New England volleyball because it has the court space and quality to allow for the expansion of offerings at any level.